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Ann Reinking, Tony winner and star of Broadway’s ‘Chicago,’ dead at 71
Ann Reinking, a Tony Award-winning actress and star of Broadway’s “Chicago,” died Saturday night, reports Variety. She was 71.
“The world and our family have lost a vibrant, amazing talent and beautiful soul. Ann was the heart of our family and the life of the party,” her family said in a statement to Variety on Monday. “She was visiting our brother in Washington state when she went to sleep and never woke up. We will miss her more than we can say. Heaven has the best choreographer available now. I’m sure they are dancing up a storm up there! Annie, we will love and miss you always!!!”
Dancer and choreographer Christopher Dean also memorialized the Broadway legend in a Facebook post. “The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky,” he wrote Monday. “The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now.”
The Seattle native got her start in acting in 1965 in a Seattle Opera House production of “Bye Bye Birdie.” Reinking, who was also a dancer and choreographer, first graced the Broadway stage in 1969 when she was cast in the ensemble of “Cabaret.”
However, Reinking was best known for her role as Roxie Hart in “Chicago” when she replaced Gwen Verdon in 1977. She played the part again in 1996 when the Broadway hit was revived, and she won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for the revival.
Of course, Reinking had deep ties to Bob Fosse, who choreographed the original “Chicago” production and was his rumored lover. She can be seen in “All That Jazz,” a 1979 film about the legend, and she co-created, co-directed and co-choreographed the musical “Fosse,” a revue of his work, which earned her an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer.
Margaret Qualley, Andie MacDowell’s daughter, played Reinking in the 2019 “Fosse/Verdon” limited series on FX.
Over the years, she also graced the Great White Way in “Annie,” “Sweet Charity,” “Over Here!” and “Goodtime Charley.” Her last time on the stage was in 2001 as a replacement ensemble member in “Fosse.”