When a community loses one of its legends, the entire community suffers. Few legends have a legacy and life more stories than Geoffrey Holder.
Holder was a well-respected dancer, actor, designer and many other things during his life. He died this week at the age of 84, which was a huge loss to his community. The cause of death was listed as pneumonia, according to the family.
Holder directed a dance troupe that performed on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera. The group won Tony Awards in 1975 for the direction of a musical and costume design for “The Wiz.” He also worked with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Dance Theater of Harlem.
He will surely be missed.
He acted onstage and in films and was an accomplished painter, photographer and sculptor whose works have been shown in galleries and museums. He published a cookbook.
Mr. Holder acknowledged that he achieved his widest celebrity as the jolly,white-suited television pitchman for 7Up in the 1970s and ’80s, when in a run of commercials, always in tropical settings, he happily endorsed the soft-drink as an “absolutely maaarvelous” alternative to Coca-Cola — or “the Un-Cola,” as the ads put it.