Bob Fosse: 5 Things About The Iconic Director Sam Rockwell Is Playing On ‘Fosse/Verdon’

FX's new limited series, 'Fosse/Verdon' — a biopic about Bob Fosse's career and relationship with broadway dancer, Gwen Verdon — premieres on Tuesday night, April 9 at 10/9c! Ahead of the show's television debut, here's 5 facts about Bob Fosse.

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The spotlight gets cast on Bob Fosse‘s broadway legacy in Fosse/Verdon. The new FX limited series, which debuts April 9 at 10/9c, chronicles the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams) over five decades. The miniseries has all of the traits of a classic Hollywood biopic, and will explore Bob’s sex life and his bout with drugs and alcohol, along with his controversial power hungry reputation. Here’s five fast facts about the late Bob Fosse before the television premiere of Fosse/Verdon.

1. Bob Fosse was an American dancer, broadway choreographer and director, and a film director. — Bob, born Robert Louis Fosse, was the youngest of six children. He began dancing at a young age, before he was recruited during World War II, where he continued to entertain in the variety show Tough Situation, that toured military and naval bases in the Pacific. He was known for his visionary filmmaking skills, and is considered to be one of the theater’s most influential choreographers and directors. Bob is known for his work on Cabaret [1972]; Liza with a Z [1972]; Lenny [1974], All That Jazz [1979] and Pippen [1981].

2. He died on September 23, 1987. — Bob died from a heart attack at George Washington University Hospital. He collapsed in Gwen’s arms on the sidewalk outside the Willard Hotel, past reports say. Bob suffered a heart attack while the revival of his Sweet Charity was opening at the nearby National Theatre. He was later cremated and (as requested), his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean in Long Island by his daughter, Nicole Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Before his death, it was revealed that Bob had epilepsy, following a seizure onstage.

3. Bob’s resume is legendary. — He’s won a total nine Tony Awards out of 20 nominations; one Academy Award out of four nominations;  three Primetime Emmy Awards out of the three nods he received; one Director’s Guild Award out of three nominations; and one BAFTA Award. Bob was also nominated for two Golden Globes. All in 1973, he won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work in Cabaret, two Tony Awards for directing and choreographing Pippin, and three Primetime Emmy Awards for producing, choreographing and directing Liza Minnelli‘s television special, Liza with a Z. To this day, Bob is still the first and only person to win all three major industry awards in the same year.

4. He married three times. — Bob’s first wife was his former dance partner, Mary Ann Niles, who he married on May 3, 1947. In 1952, he married Joan McCracken, a dancer, in New York City. The pair divorced in 1959. His third and final wife was Gwen Verdon, who he shared a daughter, Nicole, with. Although Bob’s extramarital affairs effected his marriage to Gwen and caused them to separate, the pair remained legally married until his death in 1987. Gwen never remarried.

5. Bob’s legacy has lived on long after his death. — In 2007, he was inducted into the National Museum of Dance in New York. In 2003, the Bob Fosse-Gwen Verdon Fellowship was established by his daughter at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. To this day, choreographers and directors refer to Bob’s style of work for inspiration.