Broadway Legend Chita Rivera Dead at 91

Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera died Tuesday. She was 91.

Her death was confirmed to The New York Times by her daughter, Lisa Mordente; a cause of death was not disclosed.

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Rivera’s illustrious stage career spanned seven decades and more than two-dozen shows. She originated the roles of Anita in West Side Story and Velma Kelly in Chicago.

She was the recipient of 10 Tony nominations, including two wins for Best Actress in a Musical — the first for 1984’s The Rink, the second for 1993’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 2018, she received the Tony’s lifetime achievement award.

Rivera was also the first Latina woman (and the first Latino American) to receive a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002, and was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Her TV credits included a starring role as Connie Richardson in Season 3 of CBS’ The New Dick Van Dyke Show, a recurring role as Melody Rambo on the ABC soap One Life to Live, and guest appearances on The Outer Limits and Will & Grace. She also was featured in the made-for-TV movies The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), Pippin: His Life and Times (1981), Strawberry Ice (1982) and Mayflower Madam (1987).

Her most recent credit was a cameo in the 2021 Netflix film Tick, Tick… Boom!

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