Gregory Hines dead at 57

Aug 10, 2003 by Ian Evans

Gregory Hines, who was as comfortable working on film or TV as he was dancing on the stage, has died of cancer at age 57. He was considered by many to be the greatest tap dancer of his generation.

Hines first came to public attention as part of a jazz tap duo with his brother, Maurice. Besides appearing in Broadway’s Sophisticated Ladies, the pair also worked in the 1984 film The Cotton Club. Hines also acted in that film and that led to more film work like 1985’s White Nights with Mikhail Baryshnikov and 1986’s Running Scared with Billy Crystal.

Hines won a 1992 Tony for the musical Jelly’s Last Jam and nominations for Eubie, Comin’ Uptown and Sophisticated Ladies. He first appeared on Broadway with his brother in 1954’s The Girl in Pink Tights.

No stranger to television, Gregory had a recurring role on Will & Grace and also had his own sitcom, The Gregory Hines Show, in 1997. He also recently appeared on the series Lost at Home. He’s been nominated for Emmy Awards several times: for the mini-series Bojangles in 2001, the PBS special Gregory Hines: Tap Dance in America in 1989 and for I Love Liberty in 1982. He also won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1999 for his voice work in the animated TV series Little Bill and won NAACP Image Awards for Bojangles and Running Scared.