Broadway, but also the world of cinema, mourns the passing of Chita Rivera, actress, singer but most of all exceptional dancerwhich made the history of theater and musicals in the States for over six decades.
The stage legend, who collected various awards in his long career, has passed away in New York at ninety-one after one short illnessas reported by a statement from his representative, Merle Frimark who received the details from the artist’s daughter Lisa Mordente.
She was the first Anita in West Side Story
Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson, for everyone, Chita Rivera, was one of brightest stars on Broadway and the West End who with his talent contributed to making the works of the greatest composers and writers of the twentieth century theater even more precious.
Having moved to New York as a teenager to attend a ballet school in the Big Apple, Rivera made her theater debut in 1951. Success came a few years later, in 1957when she was entrusted with the part of Anita, the girl of Puerto Rican origins, in the first Broadway production of West Side Storya musical by Leonard Bernstein, whose genesis was recently told Master by Bradley Cooper.
In 1960 the actress played the role of Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, but among her best performances there is undoubtedly the role of protagonist of Kiss of the Spider Woman which earned her the Tony Award in 1993.
Rivera is one of the artists with the highest number of nominations for the prestigious theater awards for which she has been nominated nominated ten times. The last time she went on stage to collect the statuette in 2018when she was recognized Tony for Lifetime Achievement.
At the cinema in Chicago And Tick Tick… Boom!
In addition to the dozens of theatrical productions, Chita Rivera’s artistic career also includes numerous ones appearances on TV and in the cinema for which he learned to act essentially self-taught.
Various directors wanted her for roles in adaptations or films based on musicals she performed on Broadway. Rob Marshall, for example, called her for a part of her in his Chicago of 2002 in honor of his iconic performance in the seventies by Velma Kelly (a character that was played by Catherine Zeta-Jones on the big screen).
The latest role in Tick Tick… Boom! by Lin-Manuel Miranda of 2021, an adaptation based on the musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson, also a work for the cinema set in the world of Broadway musical productions.
The last time at the theater, however, was in 2015 when he joined the cast of The Visitalso on Broadway.
Chita Rivera was the first Hispanic woman to receive the Freedom Medalthe highest civilian honor in the United States, which was awarded to her in a ceremony at the White House in 2009 by Barack Obama himself.
Many remember her on social media in these hours. Among the online thoughts also that of the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson which refers to the stage veteran as a “legend” that inspired the lives of all artists who came after her.