Broadway legend Chita Rivera is dead

Chita Rivera had her breakthrough on Broadway in 1957 and has since appeared in major musical productions and numerous Hollywood films. Now she has died.

The American actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera is dead. The star of musicals such as “West Side Story”, “Chicago” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” was 91 years old, as spokeswoman Merle Frimark announced on Tuesday. According to her daughter Lisa Mordente, Rivera died “peacefully” in New York after a short illness.

“An icon that will always live on”

Fans around the world mourned the Broadway legend on social media. “Chita Rivera is someone who will never be forgotten. Her contributions to the world of entertainment and the world in general are immortal,” someone wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “An icon that will always live on”, “Chita Rivera will forever remain one of the brightest stars on Broadway” and “A unique and remarkable woman. Rest in peace” can also be read there.

Prominent companions also said goodbye to Rivera and expressed their sadness. “This extraordinary and incomparable woman. Chita Rivera was one of the greatest souls and colleagues I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I will always cherish her. Dance in heaven, my friend,” wrote actor and director Jason Alexander, among others.

In her decades-long career, Rivera appeared in numerous stage productions around the world. She celebrated her breakthrough in 1957 in Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” in her role as Anita. In 1975 she took on the role of Velma Kelly in the Broadway production of the musical “Chicago”.

Rivera has been recognized with numerous awards for her performance. She won the coveted Tony Award in 1984 for her leading role in the musical “The Rink.” She accepted her second Tony trophy in 1993 as the leading actress in the musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” In 2018, Rivera received the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tony Awards.

Alongside stars such as actress Elizabeth Taylor and musician Paul Simon, Chita Rivera was also honored with the Honorary Award from the Kennedy Cultural Center in Washington in 2002. In 2009, she was also a recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.

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