Born 20 February, 1926, Gillian Lynne choreographed the 25th Anniversary Production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall – aged 85.

Growing up in Kent, Lynne discovered ballet following the tragic death of her mother and found herself to have a natural aptitude for the art.

Before long, Lynne was noticed by Sadler’s Wells Ballet, and went on to star in the likes of Sleeping BeautyCheckmate and The Master of Ballantrae, gracing the stages of the Coliseum Theatre and the London Palladium.

Far from a one-skill wonder, though, Lynne has also enjoyed a fruitful career as a choreographer – from work on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats to The Muppet Show.

What’s more, she’s been recognised and decorated by BAFTA, the Royal Academy of Dance, the Olivier Awards and, of course, the Queen: Lynne was appointed CBE in 1997, and DBE in 2014.

Not content with what was already a long and successful life in theatre, though, Lynne proceeded to choreograph the 25th Anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera, in none other than the Royal Albert Hall, at the age of 85.

Don’t go thinking that was her swan song, mind: Lynne continues to produce productions for stage and screen, whilst, in 2013, she both choreographed and directed the musical Dear World at London’s Charing Cross Theatre.

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