Remembering Broadway Star Maurice Hines: A Legend Lost

The world of entertainment mourns the loss of a true legend, Broadway star Maurice Hines. He passed away at the age of 80, leaving behind a legacy that will be cherished by countless fans, friends, and colleagues. Maurice Hines was not just a talented performer, but a multifaceted artist known for his exceptional tap dancing skills and his contributions to musical theater.

Born in New York City on December 19, 1943, Maurice Hines began his show business journey at a remarkably young age. Alongside his younger brother Gregory, they made their Broadway debut in 1953’s “The Girl In Pink Tights.” As the Hines Kids grew older, they evolved into the renowned Hines Brothers, captivating audiences with their extraordinary talent and chemistry on stage. Their shows, such as “Hines and Dad,” showcased their extraordinary family bond.

The Hines Brothers quickly became beloved fixtures at the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Their performances left a lasting impact on all who witnessed their talent. They also appeared on television shows like “The Tonight Show” and “The Pearl Bailey Show,” solidifying their status as entertainment luminaries.

In 1984, Maurice and Gregory Hines received a significant break when they appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Cotton Club.” Their natural chemistry and improvisational skills shone through, making their performances memorable. Maurice once recalled that all of their scenes in the movie were unscripted, with Coppola encouraging them to simply be brothers on screen. This marked the last time the brothers worked together in film.

Despite a mysterious rift that persisted for a decade, the Hines Brothers eventually reconciled. Their reunion was a poignant testament to the enduring bond of family. Sadly, this renewed connection came before Gregory Hines’ passing in 2003 at the age of 57 due to cancer.

Maurice Hines’ remarkable career in musical theater garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. In 1986, he received a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his outstanding performance in “Uptown… It’s Hot!” This achievement was a testament to his immense talent and dedication to his craft. Not only did he excel as a performer, but he also ventured into directing and choreography. Hines played a pivotal role in conceiving, directing, and choreographing the musical “Uptown… It’s Hot!” and was also involved in 2006’s “Hot Feet.”

The news of Maurice Hines’ passing struck a chord in the hearts of many in the entertainment industry. Debbie Allen, an actress, dancer, and director, paid a heartfelt tribute to her dear friend on social media. Allen and Hines had shared the stage in the production of “Guys and Dolls,” where she had the honor of being his first leading lady. In her touching tribute, Allen shared video clips and photos of her late friend, expressing her deep sorrow at not being able to speak with him or hold him again. She promised always to speak his name and bid him farewell with love.

Maurice Hines’ influence reached far beyond the stage and screen. His legacy as a trailblazer in the world of tap dancing and musical theater will continue to inspire generations to come. His contributions to the arts have left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry, and his memory will forever be cherished. As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate the extraordinary life and career of a true Broadway icon. Maurice Hines will be remembered not only for his exceptional talent but also for the joy, laughter, and inspiration he brought to countless lives through his artistry. His legacy lives on.