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Jackson, Jerry

Description

Born January 14, 1936 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jerry Reese Jackson has worked as a show producer, director, costume designer, choreographer, lyricist, and composer. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Jackson is best known for his work on the Folies-Bergère at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino where he served as artistic director, choreographer, and later as costume designer for nearly thirty-five years, beginning in 1975 and ending with the show's closure in 2009.

Jackson was raised in Bristow, Oklahoma and his career began shortly after his high school graduation in 1954. Jackson moved to Hollywood, California to study ballet, jazz, and modern dance. That same year he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he majored in art with a minor in music. He spent his summer breaks at UCLA dancing in movie musicals as well as productions at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his Junior year, Jackson spent his evenings dancing at the Moulin Rouge Supper Club in Hollywood. After graduation, Jackson continued to work as a dancer and choreographer. He became one of two permanent dancers for two seasons (1962-1963) on the Danny Kaye Show for CBS television, and later became Hermes Pan's assistant choreographer collaborating on many projects including the film Finian's Rainbow starring Fred Astaire. In 1966, Jackson danced with Angela Landsbury at the 35th Academy Awards ceremony.

In 1966, Jackson was asked to choreograph the 100th anniversary of the French revue Folies-Bergère in Paris, France. After his work on the Paris production, Jackson transitioned to the Las Vegas production at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino as the assistant choreographer to Hermes Pan. In 1975 for the 15th edition of the revue, Jackson became the creator, director and choreographer. For the 16th edition he also took on costume design responsibilities as well as wrote original music and lyrics. He continued operation in all these roles until Folies-Bergère closed in Las Vegas in 2009. His Folies responsibilities also included work on productions in Puerto Rico, a Royal Performance in London, England for Queen Elizabeth II, and a performance for President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines.

In addition to Folies-Bergère Jackson was associated with many other stage productions in Las Vegas. He worked as a choreographer on Flesh at Caesar's Palace (1969-1970), Vive Les Girls at the Dunes Hotel (1970-1971), and Funny Farm at the Aladdin Hotel (1970-1972) where he also was a writer. Jackson created the show Pin-ups (1974-1979) at the Sahara Hotel. Jackson was the writer, director, choreographer, costume designer, lyricist, and composer for Fire and Ice (1980-1984) and Hitz (1988-1990) at the Hacienda Hotel. Jackson directed and choreographed acts for many performers in Las Vegas including Goldie Hawn, Abbe Lane, Sergio Franchi, and Bobby Gentry.

Outside of Las Vegas Jackson was involved with many productions in the United States and internationally. He staged and choreographed the Broadway production for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers which played several American cities before its Broadway premiere in 1983. Jackson also worked as a director, writer, choreographer, composer/lyricist, and costume designer at the Princess Casino in the Grand Bahamas (1983-2000), Conrad International Hotel and Jupiter's Casino in Queensland, Australia (1985-1989), and Sandcastle Theater in Guam (1991-2004).

Jerry Jackson is retired from the entertainment industry and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

For a more extensive list of credits please refer to the following chronology.