Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

May 23, 2004

June Taylor, 86, the Emmy-winning choreographer whose routines on The Jackie Gleason Show brought the chorus line into the television age, died May 16 at a Miami hospital.

Each week, The Jackie Gleason Show opened with a number by the 16 high-kicking, wide-smiling young women of the June Taylor Dancers. Their routines, created by Ms. Taylor, were intricate, expensive and wholesome-looking updates of the classic Broadway chorus lines. To accommodate the square format of television, the dancers were often shot from above, resulting in kaleidoscopic patterns of limbs that recalled the films of Busby Berkeley.

Besides the three-minute numbers that opened each show, Ms. Taylor also choreographed longer routines for special broadcasts. She won an Emmy for her choreography on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955.

She began working on television in 1948 on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town and later worked on Cavalcade of Stars, which Mr. Gleason joined in 1950. The Jackie Gleason Show began in 1952 and ran until 1959; it returned to television in 1962 and ran until 1970.

Jack Eckerd, 91, a millionaire philanthropist and civic leader who turned three rundown drugstores into an empire that bore his name, died Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla.

He started the Clearwater-based Eckerd drugstores in 1952 with three stores. By 1971 he had 240 outlets in four states, plus a chain of 21 department stores and other subsidiary firms.

He was chairman of Jack Eckerd Corp., which by 1975 had ballooned to 465 drugstores in 10 states with 12,000 employees and 60 optical centers in Florida, a food-service equipment and supply firm and a security services company. J.C. Penney purchased the drugstore chain in 1996. It recently announced it was selling the struggling chain to rivals CVS Corp. and Jean Coutu Group Inc. The chain now has more than 2,600 stores in 20 states.

He was a trustee of Florida Presbyterian College from 1966. Five years later, he made a $10 million donation to the four-year liberal arts school and the next year, the school changed its name to Eckerd College.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.