Broadway vet worked on Nabors' concerts
Tom Hansen / 1926-2006
Tom Hansen, a Broadway veteran best known in Hawaii as director-choreographer of "A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors" at the Hawaii Theatre, died at 80 of prostate cancer at his home in Fallbrook, Calif.
Hansen's death on April 27 was announced Tuesday by Hawaii publicist Lisa Josephsohn.
"This has been the loss of a dear, dear friend," Jim Nabors said in the statement. "We worked together for 30 years, so it's like losing a member of the family. We'll still do our Christmas show -- in honor of Tom. He had planned to come again this year since it was one of his favorite things to do."
John Rampage, artistic director of Diamond Head Theatre, also offered praise.
"I learned more from working with him those nine years on the (Jim Nabors) Christmas show than I can ever say."
Hansen broke into show business as a dancer at the Roxy Theatre in New York. He joined the original cast of "Kiss Me, Kate" in 1948, then performed as a singer-dancer-actor on "Stop the Music" and "Your Hit Parade." His work as a choreographer included specials for Bob Hope, Steve Allen and Fred Astaire. Hansen received Emmy Award nominations for his work on the "Fabulous Fordies" special and his contributions to "The Red Skelton Show."
Hansen also choreographed the John F. Kennedy inaugural galas, worked as a choreographer at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and choreographed "The Jim Nabors Polynesian Revue" in the old Hilton Hawaiian Village Dome.
He is survived by Currie Pederson, his life partner of 46 years. Funeral arrangements are pending.