Broadway actor, dancer and choreographer Maurice Hines dies at 80

Dancer, choreographer and actor Maurice Hines died on Friday at 80 years old.

The death was confirmed by Jordan Strohl, the executive director at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, N.J., where Hines spent his final days.

The Broadway star often appeared alongside his younger brother Gregory Hines during the first part of his career. The siblings most famously co-starred in the 1984 Francis Ford Coppola movie, Cotton Club. Gregory Hines died of cancer in 2003.

But most of Maurice Hines’ work was on the Broadway stage.

He made his debut in 1954 in the musical The Girl in Pink Tights, and went on to star in productions of Guys and Dolls, Eubie! and Uptown…It’s Hot!, for which he won a Tony Award nomination for best actor in a musical.

Hines was also an in-demand choreographer and director. His credits include the national tour of the Louis Armstrong musical biography Satchmo, and the Earth Wind and Fire musical Hot Feet, which he conceived, choreographed and directed in 2006.

“I was so inspired choreographically that it took me places that I never knew I could go,” Hines told NPR in a 2006 interview about the show.

He also became the first Black director to stage a production at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall — the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Maurice Hines was born in New York in 1943 and started tap dancing at the age of five.

“I will always treasure our journey together,” wrote the Emmy Award-winning actor, producer and dancer Debbie Allen, who co-starred with Hines in Guys and Dolls, on Facebook in response to the news of Hines’ death. “I will always speak your name.”

Charles Randolph-Wright, the executive producer of the 2019 documentary Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, also shared remembrances about the artist on social media.

“No words can describe the pure energy and affection this humble talent showered on others, especially artists with that ‘something extra,’ ” said Randolph-Wright in a Facebook post. “We are so grateful that Maurice allowed us to document his life and to share both his joy and pain, and his laughter and tears in our documentary film. There will never be another like him.”

The film’s director, John Carluccio, added on Instagram: “I will deeply miss my charming and lovable friend, who always kept me on my toes.”

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  • December 31, 2023
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