Broadway Star Chita Rivera Passes Away at 91

January 31, 2024

The moment she stepped onstage, the world became more exciting and glorious.

Playwright Paul Rudnick describing broadway star Chita Rivera, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91.

What To Know: Chita Rivera, known for her dancing, singing, and acting skills, passed away in New York
“after a brief illness,” her daughter said. Rivera, who was born in Washington, D.C. to her Puerto Rican father and mother of Italian and Scottish descent, first garnered widespread attention in 1957 when cast as Anita in the original Broadway production of “West Side Story.” Throughout her career, she appeared in 20+ Broadway musicals and received 10 Tony nominations, winning two of the awards and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2018. Her final Broadway performance was in 2015, 65 years after her first appearance on Broadway.

President Barack Obama awarded Rivera the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a U.S. civilian can receive, in 2009. He said Rivera “knows the adversity that comes with a difficult name,” while emphasizing how she “captured America’s imagination with her magnetic presence and radiant voice.” 

Read More:

Chita Rivera, revered and pioneering Tony-winning dancer and singer, dies at 91 (The Associated Press)

Broadway icon Chita Rivera dies at age 91 (NBC News)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas