(Eli Countryman’s article appeared in Variety, 12/14.)
Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, an actor, dancer and choreographer, died on Saturday night in Washington, her sister-in-law Dahrla Reinking told Variety. She was 71.
News of the actor’s death was first announced Monday on Facebook by dancer and choreographer Christopher Dean, who teaches Reinking’s niece.
“The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky,” he wrote. “The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now.”
The star got her acting start in a Seattle Opera House production of “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1965. She soon found her way onto the Broadway stage when she was cast in the ensemble for the 1969 production of “Cabaret.”
She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Roxie Hart in 1977’s “Chicago,” replacing Gwen Verdon. She reprised the role when she returned for the 1996 revival of the famed production.
“The hope is that in rediscovering ‘Chicago,’ audiences will rediscover what theater was,” Reinking told the New York Times at the time of the show’s revival. “It was sophisticated, complicated, adult.”
Reinking’s other Broadway roles include “Sweet Charity,” “Over Here!” and “Goodtime Charley.”