Broadway Star Maurice Hines Dies At 80

He was reportedly the first Black director to stage a production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City.

Maurice Hines, a famed Broadway performer, dancer and choreographer, died on Friday at age 80.

His death was confirmed on Saturday by his family and representatives, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He reportedly died of natural causes at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, where he had been living for the past few years.

Hines was born in New York City in 1943 and began tap dancing at 5 years old. In 1954, he debuted in the Broadway show “The Girl in Pink Tights.”

He went on to star in a national tour for “Guys and Dolls” before returning to the Broadway stage for “Eubie!” Hines also performed and choreographed the Broadway musical “Uptown … It’s Hot!” and scored a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical in 1986. In 2006, he conceived, directed and choreographed the musical “Hot Feet.”

Hines was the first Black director to stage a Radio City Christmas Spectacular production in New York City, NPR reported. He also choreographed other shows such as “Harlem Suite,” the Louis Armstrong musical “Satchmo” and “Havana Night in Cuba.” He made TV appearances in “Cosby” and “Love, Sidney,” according to NBC News.

Before his Broadway career, Hines appeared alongside his late brother Gregory Hines in the 1984 Francis Ford Coppola movie “The Cotton Club,” where they portrayed a tap dancing duo.

In 2019, a biographical documentary called “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” was released. The director, John Carluccio, posted a tribute to Hines on social media on Saturday.

“Thinking of my dear friend Maurice Hines who passed away on Friday. I sat (and danced) with him for many hours with my camera in hand for @mauricehinesmovie. I will deeply miss my charming and lovable friend, who always kept me on my toes,” Carluccio wrote on Instagram.

Actress Debbie Allen, who was friends with Hines, also shared her remembrances of the tap dancing extraordinaire.

“Maurice Hines, I was your first leading lady in a show, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and I will always treasure our journey together,” she wrote on Instagram. “My tears are for my inability to speak with you or to hold you.”

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