In a book about his life, Charles Walters – The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance by Brent Phillips, Walters is credited with being “responsible for staging some of the best remembered (now iconic) film musical sequences of the 1940s, showcasing Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Mickey Rooney, and too many other major Hollywood stars to list.
Following this, he directed — and often simultaneously choreographed — some of the most popular movie musicals made during Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio’s “golden age” and beyond. From his earliest directorial triumphs, Good News, Easter Parade, and The Barkleys of Broadway to his smash hits Lili, High Society, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
After graduating from Anaheim, he attended USC to study law to please his family, but after a year he turned to his true love of theater and dance and learned his trade at the Pasadena Playhouse, one of the finest schools of dramatics on the West Coast.
His success on Broadway probably didn’t surprise his Anaheim High drama coach and fellow students. According to One to Twenty-Eight: A History of Anaheim Union High School District by Louise Booth, the first musical comedy performed at Anaheim starred student Walters in fall of 1928. Heigh-Ho was co-written and directed by Walters and his teacher Faye Schulz and “featured dancing and singing in the current Hollywood style.” So popular were the school productions during this time, tickets were sold at a downtown store, where patrons stood in line to get choice seats.