Bill Kenwright Dies: West End Theater & Movie Producer Was 78

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Bill Kenwright, the British West End theater and movie producer, who also acted in Coronation Street, has died aged 78.

Everton Football Club, at which Kenwright was Chairman for two decades, shared the news on X, stating that he had “passed away peacefully last night aged 78, surrounded by his family and loved ones.” “The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration,” the statement added.

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Another statement from Kenwright’s Bill Kenwright Limited said it was “devastated to share the news,” describing him as a “beloved partner, father, grandfather and friend.”

“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,” added the statement. “He impacted the lives of thousands, whether that be through launching the careers or his unending loyalty, generosity and unfaltering friendship and support.”

Kenwright was one of the UK’s most successful theater producers, with past credits including the likes of Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cabaret. He helped kickstart the careers of many other current West End producers such as Mark Rubinstein and Marc Sinden and had a happy knack of landing successes, with other hits including The Wizard of Oz, Jekyll & Hyde and Evita.

He also produced a wealth of movies, starting out with 1991’s Stepping Out and ending most recently with The Critic. Other movie credits included Chéri, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart and Broken.

Born in Liverpool, he acted when he was younger, landing a role in ITV’s Coronation Street as Gordon Clegg, before leaving to pursue producing. He was also chairman of Everton and had his own record label, Bill Kenwright Records.

Kenwright is survived by his partner Jenny Seagrove and Lucy Kenwright.

BAFTA-winning Parade’s End director Susanna White described Kenwright as a “wonderful generous human being who lived the fullest of lives” on X. “The world is dimmer for his passing but he will live on in so many hearts and when I look at the night sky he’ll be up there as a star,” added the Andor director.

Guys & Dolls actor Mark Oxtoby added on X: “I was always really fond of Bill. He gave me my first West End job & you always knew what he thought. Good or bad.”

Liverpool FC, which is Everton’s biggest rival, said “the thoughts of everyone at Liverpool FC are with Bill’s family, friends and everyone at Everton.”

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