Berkeley, Busby [Enos, William Berkeley ]
- Gordon Haramaki
[Enos, William Berkeley ]
(b Los Angeles, CA, Nov 29, 1895; d Palm Springs, CA, March 14, 1976). American choreographer and film director. He is best known for producing lavish musical numbers, which led to the slang term busby berkeley, for any elaborate dance number. The son of theatrical parents, Berkeley made his stage debut at age five. In 1917 he enrolled in the US Army where parade drills may have influenced his later choreography. During the 1920s he choreographed over 20 Broadway productions and in 1930 began his first Hollywood work for a series of films featuring comedian Eddie Cantor. The making of these films, in which Berkeley developed his distinctive palette of cinematic devices for choreographing and filming dance numbers—including the “parade of faces” and the famous kaleidoscopic “top shot” (which he did not originate)—occurred during a slump in audience interest with musicals. However, the stunning sequence of musical numbers he choreographed for ...