Dancer and choreographer Gregg Burge heard his calling at a young age after seeing Sammy Davis Jr. perform on "The Ed Sullivan Show". At seven, after four years of trying, Burge finally convinced his...
Co-choreographed and performed in the closing ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Barcelona
Was a regular on the lively children's educational program "The Electric Company" (PBS)
At age seven, convinced parents to enroll him in tap classes (date approximate)
Appeared in Spike Lee's musical comedy "School Daze" as Virgil Cloyd, one of the Gamma Rays
Acted in the HBO telefilm "Soul of the Game", playing tap dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson
By age ten, began performing in commercials (date approximate)
Made Broadway debut in "The Wiz", first as the understudy for, and then in the actual role of, the Scarecrow
Was featured in the PBS eight-part series "Dancing"
Appeared in the off-Broadway musical "Bojangles" with tap legends Chuck Green, Rhythm Red and Mabel Lee (date approximate)
Was a three-time winner on NBC's "The Ted Mack Amateur Hour"
Featured in Broadway productions of "Sophisticated Ladies" (1981), "Song and Dance" (1984) and "Oh, Kay!" (1990)
Choreographed the music video for Michael Jackson's "Bad"
Raised on Long Island, New York
Starred as Richie Walters in the film version of the long-running Broadway hit "A Chorus Line"
Dancer and choreographer Gregg Burge heard his calling at a young age after seeing Sammy Davis Jr. perform on "The Ed Sullivan Show". At seven, after four years of trying, Burge finally convinced his parents to enroll him in tap class in his hometown of Merrick, NY. By the age of ten he was performing in commercials and within three years was sharing a stage with tap legends like Chuck Green, Mabel Lee and Rhythm Red in the off-Broadway musical "Bojangles". As instrumental as his formal training in dance at the High School of the Performing Arts and Juilliard, cast alongside such veterans allowed him to learn dance improvisation, rather than just steps. Burge's Broadway debut soon followed in "The Wiz", where he went from understudy to playing the role of the Scarecrow. The dancer was also featured in the Broadway musicals "Sophisticated Ladies" (1981), "Song and Dance" (1985) and "Oh, Kay!" (1990), the latter two performances earning him Fred Astaire Awards. Although he was passed over for a part in "Fame" (1980) for being too polished a dancer and his dance number in 1984's "The Cotton Club" didn't make the final cut, Burge continued to work towards a film career, appearing in Spike Lee's 1988 musical "School Daze" as a Gamma Ray named Virgil Cloyd. While he played Richie Walters in the 1985 film version of "A Chorus Line", Burge stated "God did not put me on this earth to be a member of the chorus." He separated himself from the pack with his successful choreography, working on prestigious projects such as the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and the acclaimed 1987 music video for the Michael Jackson song "Bad". Burge's television work included appearances on the lively children's program "The Electric Company" (PBS) and in the 1993 PBS eight-part special "Dancing". One of his last roles was as dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson in 1996's "Soul of the Game", an HBO telefilm about the integration of baseball in the 1940s. The multi-talented performer's career met an untimely end in 1998 when he died at the age of 40.