Geoffrey Holder was born on August 1, 1930, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. His parents were George Holder, a Barbadian carpenter, and Louise (née James) Holder, a Trinidadian domestic worker. He had four siblings: George, Louise, Gladys, and Sylvia. Holder’s early education took place at Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain.
Holder’s career began as a dancer with the Caribbean Dance Theatre in Trinidad. He later moved to New York City, where he danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. In the 1960s, Holder began working as a choreographer and director. He staged several Broadway musicals, including “The Wiz” (1975), for which he won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Holder also directed and choreographed the 1984 film “Cotton Club”.
Holder’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million. He has been married twice. His first wife was dancer Carmen de Lavallade, with whom he had two children: Lavinia and Leo. Holder’s second wife is actress Louise Kennedy. The couple has one child: a son named Duncan.
Holder is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and has a distinctive deep voice.
October 5, 2014, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, Tony Award for Best Costume Design, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, Latin America & Caribbean
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography
Live and Let Die, Annie, Carmen & Geoffrey, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Doctor Dolittle, Boomerang, Swashbuckler, The Noah, Chance or Coincidence, Carib Gold, Tropical Rainforest: IMAX, Goosed, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, The History Makers: Courage
Upon winning the best-director Tony Award in 1975, he said in his acceptance speech, "Just try making that out of a cola nut!" This was a reference to his television commercial for 7-Up, which ended with the same words.