New York, NY -- A British-born dancer who helped to popularize modern ballet in the United States and performed into his 90s has died. Frederic Franklin was 98.
His lifelong partner, William Ausman, says Franklin died in Manhattan on Saturday of complications from pneumonia.
Franklin last appeared with the American Ballet Theatre at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts three years ago.
The company's artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, says the amazingly energetic Franklin gave him his first job as a dancer. And McKenzie gave Franklin his last job -- as a friar in "Romeo and Juliet" at Lincoln Center.
McKenzie says the Liverpool, England native retained an amazing memory of the greatest 20th century dance moves. And choreographers including George Balanchine relied on him to keep the tradition alive.