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Fosse/Verdon, a new FX series about the real-life romantic and working relationship between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, is already creating Emmys buzz for its stars, Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell. But what does FX’s Fosse/Verdon cast look like vs. the real people they’re playing? Turns out, Williams isn’t the only look-alike to be cast in the biographical drama.
The miniseries, which airs on Tuesdays on FX, follows the lives and relationship of director-choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. At the end of the first episode (spoilers ahead), Verdon learns that Fosse, her husband and longtime collaborator, cheated on her with a translator from his movie. The series, which flashes back and forth between Fosse and Verdon’s decades-long relationship, continues with the aftermath of the affair and how the couple changed the face of the entertainment industry, despite their personal turmoil.
Based on a real-life story, the show includes cameos from several recognizable stars (including Liza Minnelli). But how does the cast stack up to the real-life people they’re playing? Pretty well, if you ask us. Check out these side-by-side photos of the Fosse/Verdon cast vs. the Hollywood stars they’re portraying on screen. You’ll be surprised at the similarity.
Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse
Rockwell stars as Bob Fosse, a famed choreographer-director who is responsible for musicals like Sweet Charity and Chicago, as well as films like Cabaret and All That Jazz. Fosse, also known for creating the “jazz hands” dance move, was the first person to ever win a Tony, Oscar and Emmy in the same year in 1973. He holds eight Tonys and one Oscar. The show follows Fosse’s career from a theatre choreographer to a film director, as well as his relationship with his third wife, Gwen Verdon, who he cheated on and separated with but never divorced.
Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon
Williams stars as Fosse’s third wife, Gwen Verdon, a famed dancer and actress who is often overlooked in Fosse’s legacy. Though Fosse and Verdon separated after his extramarital affairs, they never divorced and continued a working relationship with each other. They share child, a daughter named Nicole, who also became and actress and a dancer. Verdon never remarried after her and Fosse’s separation. Verdon, who has won four Tonys, starred in several of Fosse’s productions, including Sweet Charity, Chicago and Redhead.
Norbert Leo Butz as Paddy Chayefsky
Butz stars as Paddy Chayefsky, a playwright and screenwriter who was one of Fosse’s longest and closest friends. Chayefsky died of dancer at age 58 in 1981, and as part of a deal with Fosse, the choreographer-director performed a tap dance at his funeral. The two made a deal that if Chayefsky died first, Fosse would dance at his memorial, while if Fosse died first, Chayefsky would give a monotonous eulogy. Fosse died six years later in 1987.
Kelli Barrett as Liza Minnelli
Barrett stars as Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Judy Garland and a four-time Tony winner, who has starred in Fosse’s 1972 film, Cabaret, which she won an Oscar for. Fosse is also responsible for directing and choreographing Minnelli’s 1972 TV special, Liza with a Z, which he won an Emmy for.
Nate Corddry as Neil Simon
Corddry plays Neil Simon, a playwright and a screenwriter who has written more than 30 plays and screenplays and holds 17 Tony nominations and three awards. He is responsible for plays like Barefoot in the Park and The Odd couple, as well as films like The Goodbye Girl and The Cheap Detective. He is also responsible for adapting Fosse’s musical, Sweet Charity, for the big screen in 1969, with Fosse as the choreographer.
Evan Handler as Hal Prince
Handler stars as Hal Prince, a theatre producer and director who has won 21 Tony awards, one of the highest counts in Tonys history. Prince is known to be the inspiration for John Lithgow’s character in Fosse’s All That Jazz. He is also responsible for producing Fosse’s Oscar-winning film, Cabaret.
Bianca Marroquin as Chita Rivera
Marroquin plays Chita Rivera, an actress, singer and dancer who became the first Latinx woman to receive a Kennedy Center Honors award in December 2002. Her mother is Puerto Rican, while her father is of Scottish and Italian descent. She was born as Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero. She starred in Fosse’s 1966 musical, Sweet Charity.
Susan Misner as Joan McCracken
Misner stars as Joan McCracken, a dancer and actress who has starred in Broadway productions like Oklahoma!, Bloomer Girl and Billion Dollar Baby. She is also believed to have inspired Jessica Lange’s character, Angelique, in Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz. McCracken was Fosse’s second wife and married him in 1952 after they met in the production of Dance Me a Song, in which McCracken played the lead and Fosse was a specialty dancer. They divorced in 1959 after Fosse left her for Gwen Verdon.
Margaret Qualley as Ann Reinking
Qualley stars as Ann Reinking, an actress, dancer and choreographer who has starred in the Broadway productions of Coco, Goodtime Charley and A Chorus Line. She also starred in 1977’s Broadway production of Chicago and 1986’s Sweet Charity, both of which were directed and choreographed by Fosse. She also won an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for a 2000 West End production of Fosse, a three-act show highlighting Fosse’s career and choreography. Reinking met Fosse on 1972’s Pippin and the two ended their romantic relationship after 1978’s Dancin’. They dated for six years but never married.
Paul Reiser as Cy Feuer
Reiser stars as Feuer, a theatre producer director, composer who has worked on plays like Hamlet, Skyscraper and The Act, as well as the 1938 film Storm Over Bengal, which he was nominated for an Oscar. He also codirected shows like Little Me and Sweet Charity (both of which he wrote the music for) with Fosse.