Legendary performer Ann Reinking has passed away this weekend in Washington, aged 71.
Born in Seattle, Reinking moved to New York at 18 to pursue her career in theatre professionally. She made her Broadway debut in Cabaret, aged 19, and went on to star in the ensembles of Coco, Wild and Wonderful, and Pippin. Whilst working on the latter, she drew the attention of director and choreographer Bob Fosse, the beginning of their long-term professional relationship. Reinking credited Fosse as a major influence on her work, going on to choreograph several shows and revivals in his style, namely Chicago and Fosse.
She may be best known for her portrayal of Roxie Hart in Chicago, replacing Gwen Verdon, a role she went on to reprise in the acclaimed 1996 revival production of the show.
Other stage credits include Over Here!, Goodtime Charlie, Dancin’, and Sweet Charity. She also appeared in films such as All That Jazz, Annie, and Micki & Maude.
Her family said in a statement:
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. 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!!!
Reinking was highly respected as both a performer and choreographer, winning many prestigious awards for her work.
Dancer and Choreographer Christopher Dean was the first to announce her passing in a Facebook post:
The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky. The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now.
She is survived by her husband Peter and son Chris.