Emile Ardolino


American filmmaker Emile Ardolino spent much of his distinguished career making television documentaries about classical dance and designing innovative multi-media presentations for theatrical productions, but he is still best known for his commercial feature film debut, the hit sleeper, Dirty Dancing. The New York born Ardolino, began his career as an actor in an off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. He then joined the film industry as an editor, producer and director of industrial films, documentaries, and multi-media productions. Among the latter, his best-known productions are the Joffrey Ballet's rendition of "Astarte," Jesus Christ Superstar, and Oh! Calcutta! for which he won an Obie award. He then began directing and producing documentaries for public television. He worked for PBS from the '70s through the '80s and caught on film some of the finest work of the world's premiere dancers and choreographers in the Dance in America and Live from Lincoln Center series, for which he won a total of 17 Emmy Awards. In 1983 he won an Oscar for Best Documentary for He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. After Dirty Dancing, Ardolino continued to find mainstream commercial success; in 1992 he scored another hit with the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Sister Act. His final features were the film adaptation of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and the acclaimed TV movie Gypsy, which was adapted from a famous Broadway musical. Ardolino died of AIDS in 1993.

Filmography Awards