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Chita Rivera Dies

Chita Rivera, the Broadway star who originated the role of Anita in the 1957 production of "West Side Story," died yesterday of a recent illness in New York. She was 91.


In a career spanning seven decades, the Washington, DC-born performer played central roles in dozens of musicals, including "Bye Bye Birdie," "Chicago," and "The Rink." She trained in ballet for most of her teenage years before landing her first role as principal dancer in the 1952 production of "Call Me Madam." Her prowess as a dancer, singer, and actor led her to earn 10 Tony Award nominations—the most of any musical performer in history—and win two. She became the first Latina to receive Kennedy Center Honors in 2002, as well as the first to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. See her life in photos here.


Separately, three-time Tony Award-winning dancer, singer, and director Hinton Battle died Sunday of unknown causes. He was 67.  

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