Tony Fields was a talented dancer and actor who rose to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s as one of the original Solid Gold dancers. He also appeared in several music videos for Michael Jackson, Queen, and Lionel Richie, and starred in the film adaptation of A Chorus Line. However, his promising career was cut short by a tragic illness that claimed his life in 1995. Here is the story of Tony Fields’ cause of death and how he is remembered today.
Early Life and Career
Tony Fields was born Anthony Dean Campos on December 28, 1958, in Stafford, Kansas. His parents divorced when he was four, and he took the last name of Fields from his stepfather. He grew up in Davis, California, where he showed an aptitude for gymnastics and dance. He won scholarships to the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and the Roland Dupree Academy of Dance, where he studied drama, voice, and dance.
He moved to Hollywood to pursue his career and started performing as a backup dancer for Debbie Reynolds in her nightclub act. He then auditioned for the new TV show Solid Gold, which featured dancers performing to the top 10 songs of the week. He was hired as one of the original six dancers in 1979 and stayed with the show until 1985. He became known for his athletic and acrobatic moves, as well as his charismatic personality.
Music Videos and Movies
While working on Solid Gold, Fields also appeared in several music videos for some of the biggest stars of the time. He performed in Queen’s “Body Language” at Freddie Mercury’s request, and in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and “Thriller”, both choreographed by Michael Peters. He also danced in Lionel Richie’s “Running with the Night” and Debbie Allen’s “Special Look”.
In 1984, Fields landed his biggest role as Al DeLuca in the film version of A Chorus Line, directed by Richard Attenborough. He beat out over 3,000 auditioners, including many who had performed in the Broadway musical. He played a married dancer who had a strong bond with his wife Kristine, played by Blane Savage. The film received mixed reviews from critics and fans of the original show, but Fields was praised for his performance.
Fields continued to work in film and television after A Chorus Line, appearing in movies such as Trick or Treat (1986), Body Beat (1987), The Doctor (1991), and Across the Moon (1995). He also guest-starred on shows such as Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law, and Monsters. He also performed in plays and musical theater in California.
Illness and Death
In the early 1990s, Fields began to suffer from health problems that affected his ability to dance. He was diagnosed with HIV-related cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He returned to his hometown of Davis to mentor students at his alma mater, Davis High School. He also participated in fundraisers and benefits for AIDS awareness and research.
Fields died on February 27, 1995, at the age of 36, in Dunsmuir, California. His cause of death was cancer secondary to the AIDS virus. He was buried at Dunsmuir City Cemetery.
Fields is honored each year at Davis High School with the showcase “A Tribute to Tony Fields”, celebrating the arts program of the school. He was inducted into the high school’s hall of fame in 2009, and a scholarship is available in his name. His former colleagues and friends from Solid Gold have also paid tribute to him over the years, remembering him as a talented and kind person who loved to dance.
Fields’ work as a dancer and actor has inspired many people who appreciate his skill and passion. His performances on Solid Gold, A Chorus Line, and other projects have been preserved on video and DVD for future generations to enjoy. He is remembered as one of the pioneers of music video dancing and one of the stars of a groundbreaking musical film.
Tony Fields cause of death was a tragic loss for the entertainment industry and his fans. However, his legacy lives on through his art and his spirit.