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Legendary Artiste And Club Chairman Dies After Long Battle With illness

Legendary artiste Bill Kenwright, also the West End producer and long-term chairman of Everton Football Club has died at the age of 78...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

A post by the club on X, formerly known as Twitter, said: “Everton Football Club is in mourning following the death of Chairman Bill Kenwright CBE, who passed away peacefully last night aged 78, surrounded by his family and loved ones.”

The Liverpool-born businessman made his name in the arts, at first as an actor with a breakthrough role in Coronation Street – playing the entrepreneurial Gordon Clegg. But Kenwright’s own entrepreneurial talent would prove his true calling.

After swapping a role in front of the camera for backstage business, he became one of Britain’s most successful film and theatre producers. During his career, he worked on a string of hits, including Willy Russell’s musical Blood Brothers, and Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

But in the streets of his home city, he was best known as the long-term chairman of his boyhood club, Everton. He was one of the country’s leading theatre producers and helped direct Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar.

But the Scouser was perhaps best known for the long-running West End hit Blood Brothers, which ran for 24 years in the West End before playing for three years at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre.

Kenwright forged a love affair with Everton from an early age, inspired by his idol, the centre forward Dave Hickson. He had been on the board at Goodison Park since 1989 and was made deputy chairman after buying a 68 per cent majority share of the club from Peter Johnson in 1999.

He’d been wed to the actress Ms Seagrove since 1994, following a two-year marriage to interior designer Anouska Hempel. He is survived by one daughter from a previous relationship with stage and screen star Virginia Stride, as well as two grandchildren.

A statement released through his company today read: ‘Following a long battle with illness Bill passed away peacefully last night, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

‘Bill was driven by his passions and devoted his life to them; his deep love of theatre, film, music and his beloved Everton, and the families they created. He impacted the lives of thousands, whether that be through the launching of careers or his unending loyalty, generosity and unfaltering friendship and support.

‘In a multi-award-winning career spanning six decades, Bill produced over 500 West End, Broadway, UK touring and international theatre productions, films and music albums. His impact on the arts industry has been profound.

‘During his time as majority shareholder and Chairman of Everton FC, Bill led the Club through a period of unprecedented change in English football. We will remember him with huge love and admiration – the shows will of course go on, as he would have wished, and his towering legacy will continue.

‘A celebration of Bill’s life and career will be announced in due course. At this very difficult time we ask for privacy and respect for Bill’s family and friends.’ As a director, Bill has been responsible for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita.

He also directed Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman’s Whistle Down the Wind, and was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers on Broadway.

Films produced by Kenwright’s company include Cheri, starring Michelle Pfeiffer; The Day After the Fair; Stepping Out; Don’t Go Breaking My Heart; Off the Rails; and Sundance Festival award winner Die Mommie Die; and The Purifiers.

Kenwright was awarded a CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List, for services to film and theatre……CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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