Steve Fickinger, who received a Tony Award for producing the blockbuster musical Dear Evan Hansen after helping bring Newsies and The Lion King to Broadway as a Disney executive, has died. He was 62. Fickinger died suddenly Friday at his home in Laguna Beach, his niece Jessica Roy announced.
As director of creative development for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Fickinger worked on Mulan, Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch, then served as vp creative development for the Disney Theatrical Group, where he supervised the launch of a half-dozen Broadway shows, including The Lion King and Aida.
Fickinger also oversaw the Tony-winning production of Newsies, the national tour of High School Musical and the long-running Broadway production of Aladdin. Following two decades at Disney, he exited in 2013 and created FickStern Productions, and its first endeavor, Dear Evan Hansen, opened on Broadway in 2016 en route to collecting six Tonys, including best musical.
The youngest of five children, Steven Thomas Fickinger was born in Chicago in 1960. He attended New Trier High School West, where he acted on stage with future Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, and then UCLA. After college, he spent several years in New York City as a stage actor before returning to the West Coast, where he landed at Disney.
Fickinger also was the executive producer of Rock of Ages at The Bourbon Room in Hollywood. The show starred Nick Cordero, who died after a grueling battle with COVID-19 in July 2020 at age 41. Fickinger’s upcoming projects included Live at the Crescendo Club: An Evening With Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Pearl Bailey, written and directed by Seret Scott and produced by Deniece Williams, his niece said.
He was involved in charities including the AIDS Walk, the Los Angeles Food Mission and the Race to Erase MS. Survivors also include his siblings, Joan, Jan, Michael and Emily. A funeral will be held in Chicago, with a memorial service in Los Angeles.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.