Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Ann Reinking passed away on Saturday at the age of 71.
Dance instructor Christopher Dean broke the news of Reinking’s death on Monday.
“The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky,” Dean wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. “The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now.”
Reinking’s sister-in-law, Dahrla King, also confirmed that Reinking passed away on Saturday night in Washington, according to Variety.
The family released a statement announcing Reinking’s passing:
“The world and our family have lost a vibrant, amazing talent and beautiful soul. Ann was the heart of our family and the life of the party.”
The statement went on to say that Reinking was visiting a relative in Washington when she died overnight in her sleep.
The statement concluded:
“We will miss her more than we can say. Heaven has the best choreographer available now. I’m sure they are dancing up a storm up there! Annie, we will love and miss you always!!!”
The cause of death was not revealed.
Ann Reinking death: Tributes on social media
People have been posting tributes on social media.
Celebs who paid tribute on Twitter included the actress and director Melissa Fumero, known for playing Amy Santiago in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Others include the Tony Award-winning singer and dancer Chita Rivera and actor Tory Devon Smith.
I once took a Fosse class #AnnReinking taught at Steps.. she was so magnetic. She noticed me once during the class and I fangirled so hard, and rode that ego boost for a lonnnggggg time. There will never be another like her. RIP 💗 pic.twitter.com/rZA7vahhGf
— Melissa Fumero (@melissafumero) December 15, 2020
I’m beyond words to hear of the sudden passing of my dear friend #AnnReinking. Such a beautiful soul & talent. We met during the original CHICAGO & were close friends to this day. I so loved sharing the stage with her. Her spirit & #RazzleDazzle are w me always.💔 pic.twitter.com/xNP7v1hjyN
— Chita Rivera (@Chita_Rivera) December 15, 2020
— ToryDevonSmith (@ToryDevonSmith) December 15, 2020
News of Reinking’s death comes after Monsters and Critics reported that Charley Pride at the age of 86. The country music legend reportedly died from COVID-19 complications.
David Prowse, best known for playing the iconic villain Darth Vader, also died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 85.
Ann Reinking bio
Reinking was born in November 1949, in Seattle, Washington.
She starting taking ballet lessons while growing up in the Bellevue suburb of Seattle
At the age of 12, Reinking appeared in an English Royal Ballet production of Giselle.
While attending Bellevue High School, she trained on a scholarship in ballet during the summer holidays at the San Francisco Ballet School.
Reinking continued her studies after high school, taking Joffrey Ballet’s summer residency classes at the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.
She made her stage debut in 1965 in a Seattle Opera House production of Bye Bye Birdie and her Broadway debut in the musical Cabaret in 1969, when she was 19 years old.
Reinking met director and choreographer Bob Fosse while participating in the Broadway musical Pippin as a chorus dancer. She had a romantic relationship with Fosse.
In 1974, she played Maggie in the Broadway musical Over Here! alongside John Travolta and The Andrews Sisters, Patty, and Maxene.
Reinking replaced Gwen Verdon in the starring role of Roxie Hart in Chicago (1977) and reprised (3) the role in the show’s 1996 revival.
She won a Tony Award for Best Choreography for her role in the 1996 revival of Chicago.
Reinking is also known for her roles in Sweet Charity and Goodtime Charley. She starred in Bob Fosse’s autobiographical movie All That Jazz (1979).
She is survived by her husband Peter Talbert, whom she married in 1994. They share a son, Chris.