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Tony Winner and Star of Broadway’s ‘Chicago’ Ann Reinking Dead At 71

Ann Reinking Biography — Wiki

Ann Reinking is the Tony-winning legend and dance icon who got her big break in the late 1970s when she was cast as the replacement Roxie Hart in the original production of Bob Fosse’s Chicago—inheriting the role created by the legendary Gwen Verdon—and then went on to become the director’s lover, muse, collaborator and keeper of his creative flame.

Reinking died on Saturday, family members confirmed to news outlets on Monday.

Ann Reinking Age

Ann Reinking was 71 years old at the time of death.

Ann Reinking Death and Cause of Death

According to her family, Ann Reinking died in her sleep in a hotel room in the Seattle area, where she was visiting one of her brothers.

The cause is not yet known, Dahrla King, her sister-in-law, told The New York Times.

“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,” Reinking’s family said in a statement issued on Monday.

“We will miss her more than we can say. Heaven has the best choreographer available now.”

“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!!!”

How well do you know Ann Reinking?

Born in Seattle, Ann Reinking trained in ballet, but ended up in the chorus lines of many musicals, including Cabaret and Pippin.

She graduated to lead roles in shows such as Goodtime Charley, with Joel Grey. In 1977, she took on her most famous role when she replaced Gwen Verdon in Chicago, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. Fosse hired her for Dancin’ and Sweet Charity, and she even played a version of herself in Fosse’s film, All That Jazz.

In 1996, nearly two decades after first dazzling audiences as Roxie Hart in Chicago, she did it again in a revival she hoped would help audiences “rediscover what theater was.” She won a Tony Award for Best Choreography for her efforts the following year.

A mainstay in Broadway musicals for decades, Reinking was both a muse and lover to Fosse.

That relationship was a pivotal plot line — though somewhat fictionalized — in FX’s recent limited series production, Fosse/Verdon. Fosse was married to Gwen Verdon. Reinking consulted on the project, serving as a personal sounding board to actress Margaret Qualley, who portrayed the famous dancer.

“I was really nervous because I wanted to do right by her,” Qualley told IndieWire of the experience. “I looked up to her for so long, was so familiar with her. More than anything, I wanted her to like it. I didn’t even know her yet, but I was already thinking about that.”


On Monday, choreographer Christopher Dean, whom Variety reports teaches Reinking’s niece, mourned the death of the actress.

“The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky,” he wrote in Facebook post.

“The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now.”

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