Broadway Star Passes Away

Broadway Star Passes Away

( – Broadway stars hardly receive the same acclaim that Hollywood and television stars do, but every now and then, an enormous talent shines its way through. That was the case with Chita Rivera, a Latin American actress who shone so brightly that her career spanned six decades. Sadly, she has now passed away.

In a statement, Lisa Mordente, Rivera’s daughter, announced her mother’s death, which occurred on January 30. She didn’t give further details, including a cause of death. Rivera was 91 years old.

On stage, Rivera was the perfect trifecta. She sang, danced, and acted, all with so much grace and charisma that she solidified her name in theater. Her most notable roles were that of Rosie in “Bye Bye Birdie,” Anita in “West Side Story,” and Velma Kelly in “Chicago.” In 1993, she held the title role in the production “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Her performances were so electric that several publications wrote of her talents, including Newsweek, which called her “only the greatest musical-theater dancer ever.” Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times said she was “a flammable singer and gyroscopic dancer.”

Rivera began performing on Broadway in the early 1950s, having studied dance before beginning her theater career. She taught herself most of her acting and singing skills, a significant feat for any talent.

Her career came to an abrupt halt in 1986 after a car struck her and shattered her leg. Yet, she didn’t let it keep her down for long. Within a year, she was easing her way back into performances. However, she noted that she would never be the same because she lost her Achilles tendon, which limited her ability to dance ballet. She went on to perform for decades more, gracing the stage even at the age of 82.

Rivera won many awards, including a special Tony in 2018 for her lifetime of achievements. She received 10 Tony award nominations and won two for Best Actress in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Rink.” In 2002, she received the Kennedy Center Honors, the first Hispanic woman to do so.

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