Stephen Papich, a choreographer, director, producer and writer, died in Los Angeles on Dec. 16. He was 81.
Born in St. David, Ill., he served in WWII and studied dance in New York. In 1952 he became a contract choreographer and staging director at 20th Century Fox, working on films including “The Robe,” “The Silver Chalice,” “The Egpyptian” and “Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.”
He then began working as a producer-director at the Hollywood Bowl, working on the Beatles’ first U.S. show and producing the musical “Gay ’90s Night.”
He toured Africa in preparation for his production of “Bamboche” and produced the Darius Millaud opera “David.” He also produced “Winner Take All,” a musical that opened at the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles in 1976.
He worked with performers including Dorothy Dandridge, Judy Garland, Mae West, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Josephine Baker on tours, records and nightclub acts.
In 1976, he wrote “Remembering Josephine” about his experiences with Baker.