Chita Rivera, the iconic Broadway performer, passed away at the age of 91. With a career spanning seven decades, she left an indelible mark on the theater world.
Early Career and Rise to Stardom
Rivera’s journey began in the 1950s, securing roles in productions like Can-Can and Mr. Wonderful. Her breakthrough came in 1957 when she joined the original cast of West Side Story, propelling her to Broadway stardom.
Tony Awards and Accolades
Rivera’s talent and dedication earned her 10 Tony Award nominations, winning two for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Her iconic roles, such as Anita in West Side Story, Velma in Chicago, and Rose in Bye Bye Birdie, cemented her status as a Broadway legend.
Tributes from Industry Stars
The news of Rivera’s passing was met with an outpouring of tributes from industry stars. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rita Moreno, and Catherine Zeta-Jones expressed their admiration and gratitude for her contributions to Broadway.
A Trailblazer for Latina Women
Rivera was recognized as a trailblazer for Latina women, inspiring generations with her talent and resilience. Her last Broadway appearance was in 2015 in The Visit alongside Roger Rees.
Rivera was married to fellow West Side Story dancer Tony Mordente, with whom she had a daughter, Lisa. The couple eventually separated in 1966.
Legacy and Impact
Chita Rivera’s legacy as a “triple threat” performer—singing, dancing, and acting—will continue to inspire and entertain audiences for generations to come. Her contributions to Broadway are immeasurable, and she will be remembered as one of the greatest performers of all time.