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Farewell to a Broadway Maestro: Tap-Dancing Icon Maurice Hines Passes Away at 80

Maurice Hines
Maurice Hines (Credits: NBC News)

Broadway performer Maurice Hines, celebrated for his exceptional talent in tap dancing and known as the brother of the late tap-dancing icon Gregory Hines, passed away at the age of 80. He succumbed to natural causes on Friday at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, where he had been residing in recent years, as confirmed by Jordan Strohl, the executive director of the facility.

Maurice earned a Tony Award nomination in 1986 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his outstanding contribution to “Uptown…It’s Hot!” Among his notable Broadway credits are the 1981 production “Bring Back Birdie” and the 2006 show “Hot Feet,” where he also served as the choreographer. His Broadway journey began in 1954 with his debut in “The Girl in Pink Tights.”

Maurice Hines

Maurice Hines (Credits: MSN)

Hailing from Harlem, New York, Maurice initially gained recognition while touring alongside his father, Maurice Sr., and his younger brother Gregory, with whom he shared the stage in the dance show “Hines, Hines & Dad.” The family showcased their talents on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963.

In the 1984 Francis Ford Coppola film “The Cotton Club,” Maurice and Gregory portrayed feuding brothers Clay and Sandman Williams, depicting the vibrant jazz scene of Harlem.

Despite their early collaborations as the Hines Brothers, their real-life relationship was marked by tensions. The 2019 documentary “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” revealed a ten-year period of estrangement between Gregory and Maurice.

Maurice’s artistic contributions extended beyond Broadway, as he co-directed and choreographed the national tour of the Louis Armstrong musical biography “Satchmo” and a production of “Havana Night” in Cuba.

In 2013, Maurice embarked on a tribute tour across select U.S. cities with the show “Tappin’ Thru Life,” honoring the legacy of his late brother. Actress-producer-director Debbie Allen, a close friend, paid homage to Maurice on Instagram, recalling their shared journey in the show “Guys and Dolls” and expressing her deep sorrow at being unable to communicate with him. She vowed to continue celebrating his name and anticipated a reunion on the other side.

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