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Emile Ardolino
Emile Ardolino at the Academy Awards.jpg
Ardolino at the 56th Academy Awards
Born (1943-05-09)May 9, 1943
Died November 20, 1993(1993-11-20) (aged 50)
Resting place St. John Cemetery, New York, U.S.
Occupation Television director, television producer, film director, film producer
Notable work
Dirty Dancing
Sister Act

Emile Ardolino (May 9, 1943 – November 20, 1993) was an American television and film director and producer, best known for his work on the films Dirty Dancing (1987) and Sister Act (1992). He has won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his film He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983).

Early life and career

Ardolino was born in Maspeth, a neighborhood of Queens, the son of Italian immigrants Ester (nee Pesiri) and Emilio Ardolino.

He began his career as an actor in Off-Broadway productions, and then moved to the production side of the business. In 1967, he founded Compton-Ardolino Films with Gardner Compton. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ardolino worked for PBS. He profiled dancers and choreographers for their Dance in America and Live from Lincoln Center series.

Ardolino won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the 1983 film He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. He found commercial success with the Academy Award-winning 1987 hit Dirty Dancing.


Ardolino died in California on November 20, 1993 of complications from AIDS. His last films, The Nutcracker (based on George Balanchine's New York City Ballet adaption) and the television production of Gypsy starring Bette Midler, were released and shown posthumously. Ardolino is buried beside his parents at St. John Cemetery in New York.

Personal life

Ardolino was openly gay.


Partial filmography

  • He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987)
  • Chances Are (1989)
  • Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
  • Sister Act (1992)
  • The Nutcracker (1993)
  • Gypsy (1993, TV movie)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Emile Ardolino para niños

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