Gregory Hines

Summary

Gregory Oliver Hines (New York, February 14, 1946-Los Angeles, August 9, 2003) was an American actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.

Beginnings

Hines and his older brother Maurice began dancing as children. They studied with choreographer Henry LeTang, and together with their father, the three became known as “The Hines Kids” and later as “The Hines Brothers”. In 1963 they changed their name again: “Hines, Hines and Dad”.

Career

In 1975 and 1976, Hines sang and played in a rock band called Severance, in Venice (California).Severance was one of the steady bands in an original music club called Honky Hoagies Handy Hangout (also known as 4H Club).In 1986, he sang a duet with Luther Vandross, entitled There”s Nothing Better Than Love, which reached #1 on the Billboard R&B charts.

Hines appeared in films such asThe Cotton Club,White Nights,Running Scared,Tap andWaiting to Exhale.On television, he starred in his own series in 1997, called The Gregory Hines Show.He also appeared in a recurring role on Will & Grace as Ben Doucette.

Hines made his Broadway debut with his brother in The Girl in Pink Tights in 1954.He earned Tony Award nominations forEubie! (1979),Comin” Uptown (1980) andSophisticated Ladies (1981).He won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award forJelly”s Last Jam (1992) and won the Theatre World Award for Eubie!

He co-hosted the Tony Awards ceremony in 1995 and 2002.

In 1990, Hines visited his idol, Sammy Davis, Jr. who was dying of throat cancer.After Davis” death, Hines recounted at the funeral that Davis, unable to speak, had gestured to him to pass him a ball “like he was throwing me a basketball…and I made the gesture of catching it”.Hines referred to how honored he was that Davis believed Hines could carry on the show when Davis was gone.

Hines passed away from liver cancer in Los Angeles and was engaged to Negrita Jayde at the time.

He is buried in Saint Volodymyr”s Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Oakville, Ontario.

Nominations

Sources

  1. Gregory Hines
  2. Gregory Hines
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