Maurice Hines, tap dancer, Broadway

Broadway Mourns The Loss Of Tap Dance Legend Maurice Hines at 80

Maurice Hines, Broadway star and tap dancing legend with brother Gregory, has died of natural causes at age 80.

Broadway has lost one of its tap-dancing legends. Maurice Hines, the brother of the late Gregory Hines, has died at age 80 on Dec. 29.

Hines was living out his final years at an assisted living facility for elderly entertainers, deemed the Actors Fund Home, in Englewood, New Jersey, before dying of natural causes. People confirmed the news by the facility’s executive director, Jordan Strohl.

Growing up in Harlem, New York, he belonged to a family of performers. Through their shared skill of dance, specifically in tap, he was part of a father-and-sons dance show called “Hines, Hines & Dad” with his younger sibling Gregory and their patriarch, Maurice Sr., their success led to a performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963.

Hines’ Broadway career extended generations, starting in 1954 with “The Girl In Pink Tights.” He was nominated for his first Tony Award in 1986 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for “UpTown…It’s Hot!” The musical was an anthology depicting the history of Black music and was created and directed by Hines himself.

His tumultuous professional and personal relationship with his brother, Gregory, was also heavily publicized. Although longtime performance partners, a 2019 documentary on their lives revealed that they did not speak for nearly a decade. However, after Gregory’s death from cancer in 2003, Hines went on the “Tappin’ Thru Life” tour a decade later to pay tribute to his legacy.

The performer was an acclaimed director and choreographer, utilizing his gifts for the national tour of Louis Armstrong’s musical biography Satchmo. He is remembered by a fellow African American legend in theater and film, Debbie Allen, who paid homage to her former director.

“Maurice Hines, I was your first leading lady in a show, ‘Guys and Dolls’”’ and I will always treasure our journey together,” expressed Allen. “My tears are for my inability to speak with you or to hold you. I will ALWAYS SPEAK YOUR NAME. See you on the other side.”

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