Actor-photographer Cris Alexander died on Wednesday, March 7, of natural causes in New York, N.Y. He was 92.
Alexander, who was also a singer and dancer, played Chip, one of the three sailors, in the original 1944-46 Broadway production of Leonard Bernstein and Comden & Green’s “On the Town.” He also starred opposite Clifton Webb in the 1946-47 Broadway production of Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter.” Alexander co-starred with Rosalind Russell in 1953 Tony best musical winner “Wonderful Town,” also from Bernstein and Comden & Green, and reunited with Russell for “Auntie Mame” on Broadway. He also appeared with Russell in a 1958 TV production of “Wonderful Town” and as the excitable toy department manger at Macy’s in the film version of “Auntie Mame.”
Alexander was also a portrait photographer known for his work with celebrities including Gloria Vanderbilt, Andy Warhol and Martha Graham; he was also the official photographer for the New York City Ballet. In 1970 he was credited with the projection design for the Broadway production of Richard Rodgers musical “Two by Two.”
Born in Tulsa, Okla., Alexander was raised by his father and attended high school with Tony Randall (then known as Ira Leonard Rosenberg). The pair, together with other classmates, performed their own weekly radio show. Alexander moved to New York City when he was 18.
Alexander had married his partner of 62 years, Shaun O’Brien, in 2011, but O’Brien, a former New York City Ballet dancer and actor, died just two weeks before Alexander.