Kenny Ortega

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Full Name Kenny Ortega
Age 70 Years Old
Nick Name Ortega
Gender Male
Birth Date April 18th, 1950
Birth Place Palo Alto

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About Kenny Ortega 

Kenny Ortega is a famous filmmaker, touring manager as well as a choreographer from the USA. He began his career working with the dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly in the film "Xanadu" and made his directorial debut with the musical comedy-drama film "Newsies". He also directed many other films, including the super-hit "High School Musical 3: Senior Year", which made more than $250 million on an $11 million budget. The film was the third installment of the "High School Musical" trilogy. Besides this, he directed Hocus Pocus (1993), Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), and the Descendants trilogy (2015-2019). Additionally, he has choreographed films including St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), and Dirty Dancing (1987). Not only this but also he has directed multiple concert tours, including tours for Cher, Gloria Estefan, Hannah Montana, and Michael Jackson. In the year 2019, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was also named a Disney Legend at the 2019 D23 Expo.

Kenny Ortega is back with a New Musical Series "Julie and the Phantoms". Netflix has announced a new musical series will release on September 10. This new series, titled Julie and the Phantoms, comes from the mind of Kenny Ortega, director of Disney Channel favorites High School Musical and Descendants. For fans of Ortega, Cour this announcement is a welcome surprise, and it looks like we are going to be seeing exactly what we have come to expect from Ortega: a fun musical with well-choreographed dance numbers and a whole lot of heart. The series, which is based on the Brazilian series of the same name, follows a young girl named Julie (Madison Reyes) with a passion for singing who ends up befriending a musical group of ghosts (Charlie Gillespie, Owen Joyner, and Jeremy Shada). What results is a crazy journey, filled with heartwarming storylines and flashy performances. 

Kenny Ortega is famous for being a filmmaker, touring manager, and a choreographer. He is best known for directing films such as Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009) and the Descendants trilogy (2015-2019).

Kenny Ortega, a famous filmmaker

Source: @hollywoodreporter

Kenny Ortega was born on 18th April 1950 with the birth name of Kenneth John Ortega. His place of birth is in Palo Alto, California, the USA. He was born to his parents; Octavio Ortega (father) and Madeline Ortega (mother). His mother used to work as a waitress and his father worked in a factory. As per his education, he studied at Sequoia High School, situated in Redwood City, California. He is American by nationality and his ethnicity is mixed of American and Spanish. His Zodiac sign is Aries and his religion is Christian. As of 2020, he celebrated his 70th birthday. 

Kenny Ortega is a handsome man and he still looks young in the seventies. He has a tall and strong body figure with a height of 5 feet 10 inches. His balanced weight consists of 75 kg. He has got a magnetic personality with hazel eyes and salt and pepper hair color.

Kenny Ortega's Career

  • Kenny started his career after appearing in a touring production of "Oliver! and Hair" as an actor. 
  • He also toured with the band for ten years.
  • After that, he was contracted by Cher to choreograph a TV special and tour and by KISS on their Dynasty Tour.
  • Then, he was hired as one of the choreographers in the film "Xanadu" in the year 1980.
  • He also served as choreographer for several of John Hughes's films, including "Pretty in Pink" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", as well as the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing".
  • Additionally, he also served as choreographer for several music videos, including "Material Girl" by Madonna, "She's a Beauty" by The Tubes, "Rock Me Tonite" by Billy Squier, and "Mr. Roboto" by Styx.
  • In the year 1992, he then made his directorial debut with the Disney musical "Newsies".
  • Later, this was followed by "Hocus Pocus" in the year 1993.
  • He also served as choreographer for "To Wong Foo", "Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" in the year 1995.
  • Moreover, he created and designed Jackson's Dangerous World Tour (1992-1993) and the HIStory World Tour (1996-1997).
  • Later, he also choreographed events ranging from Super Bowl XXX, the 72nd Academy Awards, the 1996 Summer Olympics (Atlanta), and the 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City).
  • He then directed and choreographed two Disney Channel Original Movies, "High School Musical" and "The Cheetah Girls 2" in the year 2006. 
  • Not only this but also he returns as director and choreographer for "High School Musical 2" in the year 2007 and "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" in the year 2008.
  • He then began work directing and choreographing the scheduled 50-date Michael Jackson" This Is It" concert residency at The O2 Arena, billed as Jackson's final concerts in London. The engagement was subsequently canceled due to Jackson's sudden death in June 2009.
  • Later, he would serve as the director of the Michael Jackson Public Memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which was broadcast live on several networks on 7th July 2009, reaching a television audience of 31 million in America and more than 1 billion worldwide.
  • He introduced a rendition of Jackson's 1985 charity single "We Are the World" created for the This Is It concerts, featuring Jackson's backing singers on lead vocals with his dancers performing around them.
  • After the death of Jackson, he directed the concert film "Michael Jackson's This Is It" which was put together from rehearsal footage recorded at the Los Angeles Forum and the Staples Center which was released on 28th October of the same year. 
  • He was set to direct the 2011 "Footloose" remake but later dropped.
  • After that, he was hired to direct a film adaptation of the Broadway musical "In the Heights" for Universal, but the studio dropped the project in 2011 due to budgetary and casting issues.
  • On 9th August 2011, it was announced that he would direct a remake of "Dirty Dancing", a project that was later postponed. The 2017 TV remake was filmed without Ortega's involvement.
  • He also guest-judged on the 18th season of "Dancing with the Stars" during the semifinals on 12th May 2014. 
  • Likewise, he directed and choreographed Descendants for the Disney Channel, a film based on the children of legendary Disney Villains. It was released in the year 2015. 
  • Again, he returns in the same capacity for its two sequels, Descendants 2 in the year 2017 and Descendants 3 in the year 2019.
  • He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was named a Disney Legend at the 2019 D23 Expo in the year 2019. 

Kenny Ortega, filmmaker of Descendants

Source: @pinterest

Kenny Ortega's Awards and Achievements

Kenny Ortega is also an award-winning filmmaker. He has won Primetime Emmy Award, Directors Guild of America Awards, Helpmann Awards, ALMA Award, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Young Artist Award, and more. Recently he won the Directors Guild of America Awards for the film "Descendants". 

Is Kenny Ortega GAY?

Regarding the sexual orientation of Kenny Ortega, he is openly gay. In the 2014 interview with anti-bullying organization Bystander Revolution, he said that "as a gay man having grown up in the 50s and 60s, I have to say, I'm very proud of the industry that I work in," referring to the acceptance of people with different sexual orientations in show business. Talking about the marital status of Kenny, he is assumed to be unmarried. As of now, he seems to be single as there are no rumors about him dating anyone. He has not revealed anything about his past affairs. He is focusing on his career at present. 

Going in the depth of his personal life, he recalled being falsely arrested at the age of 21 after a chief of police planted narcotics in his hotel room, allegedly upset by his performance in a touring production of "Hair". But the charges were dropped after investigations were made, and then he recalled the arrest report identifying him as George Berger, the name of the character he played in the show.

Kenny Ortega's Net Worth 2020

Kenny Ortega is a famous filmmaker who has directed a lot of movies throughout his career. As of 2020, the net worth of Kenny is estimated to have $10 Million. He has not revealed anything about his salary till now. Without a doubt, he must be earning a considerable amount of salary from his present career. His source of wealth comes from a filmmaking career. He directed super-hit "High School Musical 3: Senior Year", which made more than $250 million on an $11 million budget. He made on a budget of $60 million for the film "Michael Jackson's This is It" which earned more than $260 million worldwide.