The death of Chita Rivera, 91, who first came to attention in 1957 as Anita in the original production of "West Side Story" and later became an idol among Latin artists, has deeply saddened the art world.
Dynamic dancer, singer and actor Chita Rivera, who received 10 Tony nominations and won the award twice in her long career, was 91 when she died on Tuesday.
In 2015, while dancing with her signature energy in "The Visit," she told the Associated Press, "If I'm not moving, if I'm not telling you a story or singing a song, I don't know what I'm doing. That's the spirit of my life and I'm really lucky to be able to do what I love even at this time in my life." Rivera's death was announced by his daughter Lisa Mordente.
In 2009, Rivera received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the United States can bestow on a civilian, and in a post on social media platform X, the Tony Awards said she was " a Broadway legend and three-time Tony Winner whose grace, talent, and passion left an unforgettable mark on the world of theatre."
Actor Jason Alexander, in his statement on the same platform, stated that Rivera was "This extraordinary woman, the incomparable. Chita Rivera was one of the greatest spirits and colleagues I’ve ever known. She set the bar in every way. I will cherish her always. Dance in heaven, my friend.". Movie actress Mia Farrow also called Rivera "a true Broadway icon".
The famous artist, who played the characters of Anita in "West Side Story" and Rose in "Bye Bye Birdie," was awarded Tony Awards for the musicals "The Rink" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman".