Charles Walters Overview:

Director, Charles Walters, was born on Nov 17, 1911 in Brooklyn, New York City. Walters died at the age of 70 on Aug 13, 1982 in Malibu, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.


Charles Walters directed some beguiling and successful musical films. Many of his comedies and musicals have great charm and all are brilliantly photographed in color, while smoothly and imaginatively choreographed, occasionally even tugging at the heartstrings. His films include Good News, Easter Parade, Lili, Dangerous When Wet, The Tender Trap, High Society, ask Any Girl and The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Like Stanley Donen and later Bob Fosse, Walters was a dancer who turned to choreography and directed stage musicals. He joined MGM in 1942, and created dance routines for Du Barry Was a Lady, Girl Crazy, Meet Me in St Louis (the 'Cake Walk' sequence), Ziegfeld Follies, The Harvey Girls and Summer Holiday.  

As a director, Walters worked with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Vera-Ellen, Esther Williams and other members of MGM's musical stock company, but found a special rapport with Leslie Caron in Lili (a charming story of a waif who joins a traveling carnival and becomes involved with a magician and a puppeteer) and The Glass Slipper (a beautifully decorated version of Cinderella).  His film, Dangerous When Wet, includes a delightful animated sequence in which Esther Williams swims with Tom and Jerry, while High Society and The Unsinkable Molly Brown are vigorous films, carried by tuneful scores and personable central performances. He also directed Cary Grant's fitting screen farewell in Walk Don't Run.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



Although Walters was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1953Best DirectorLili (1953)N/ANominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Esther Williams and : The Dear Dame and Her Dear Director

By Michaela on Jan 19, 2016 From Love Letters to Old Hollywood

I'm thrilled to say that I'm taking part in the Star-Director Blogathon, hosted by the marvelous Theresa. Click here for the giant, amazing list of entries here. ********************************************************************************* If you've read my blog before, you've probably noticed... Read full article

: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance

on Jun 22, 2015 From Journeys in Classic Film

name doesn’t immediately find itself in the pantheon of most memorable directors. You’d be hard pressed to find him in the top 10, 20, or even 30 of greatest directors, and that’s a shame because, as the title of his biography indicates, he “made Hollywood dan... Read full article

The Tender Trap (, 1955)

By Judy on Jan 5, 2014 From Movie Classics

I was given the Frank Sinatra: The Golden Years DVD box set for Christmas, so I’m looking forward to watching all the films in the collection. The UK/region 2 set contains four films, rather than five as in the US/region 1 set, with the missing title sadly being the most famous one - The Man w... Read full article

Easter Parade (, 1948)

By Judy on Mar 29, 2013 From Movie Classics

It?s hard to imagine a sunnier musical than Easter Parade. Everything fits together perfectly, from the sublime song-and-dance pairing of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire to the score packed with great Irving Berlin standards. Yet this brightly-coloured holiday favourite was at first intended to be dar... Read full article

: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance by Brent Phillips

By Raquel Stecher on Nov 30, -0001 From Out of the Past - A Classic Film Blog

: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance by Brent Phillips Hardcover, 368 pages ISBN: 9780813147215 November 2014 University Press of Kentucky Barnes and Noble Powell's IndieBound “He was born to dance.” – Brent Phillips on Chuck Walters When I started my classic... Read full article

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Charles Walters Facts
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 1160-1164. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

Educated at USC.

Directed 3 actresses to Oscar nominations: Leslie Caron (Best Actress, Lili (1953)), Marjorie Rambeau (Best Supporting Actress, Torch Song (1953)), and Debbie Reynolds (Best Actress, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)).

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