The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has honored acclaimed producer and choreographer Kenny Ortega with the 2,667th Star on the World Famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the Category of Motion Pictures, on July 24, 2019, in Los Angeles at 6243 Hollywood Boulevard next to the historic Pantages Theatre.
“Kenny Ortega has been part of the history of films and television that many fans have grown up with and those same fans have children that continue to enjoy his work and will continue pass on the love of his films for generations to come!” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kenny Ortega is a multi-award-winning director, choreographer, and producer. He was born in Palo Alto, California, the son of Madeline, a waitress, and Octavio “Tibby” Ortega, a factory worker.
Initially, Ortega came out of the San Francisco Arts scene, working with the Tubes. In 1979, Ortega was contracted to work with KISS on their Dynasty Tour. He became more recognized after working with dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly on the film Xanadu, Ortega went on to choreograph the dance for the Menudo video “Hold Me”, as well as the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and has won awards for choreography in music videos, such as Madonna’s “Material Girl”. He also worked with The Tubes on their stage shows and directed the video for “She’s a Beauty”, as well as the choreography for Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” video.
In 2002, Ortega was honored with Directing and Choreography Emmy awards for his work as supervising chorographer and co-artistic director of the Salt Lake Olympic Ceremonies and in 1996, earned an Emmy and American Choreography award for for the Atlanta Olympic Ceremonies.
One of the top creatives in television and film today, Ortega is known for the “High School Musical” franchise, which earned him a Primetime Emmy and Directors Guild of America Award. He is also the executive producer for the film’s multi-platinum soundtracks. In 2008, Ortega directed and executive produced “High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM 3)” for Walt Disney Motion Pictures. “HSM 3” was the biggest theatrical box office opening for a musical in history.
Widely acclaimed for his genre-bending work in musicals, drama, comedy, and family programs, Ortega has directed and/or choreographed international phenomenon’s including the “Descendants” trilogy, “Newsies,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and “Pretty in Pink,” among others.
Recently, Ortega directed “Descendants 3,” the third installment of the widely successful Disney Channel trilogy which will be released Friday, August 2nd. His other work includes “A Change of Heart” (winner of the OUTshine Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature),“The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” for FOX (which premiered during Halloween 2016), and The Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Special for Freeform.
Ortega has also received The Fred & Adele Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award, The Bob Fosse Award, an American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, an MTV Video Music Award, an American Music Award, Billboard Award, and an NAACP Image Award, among others.
Ortega is involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation.