Ann Reinking, Tony Award-winner and Broadway star, has died at the age of 71.
The actor, dancer and choreographer died on Saturday night, December 12, in Washington, Variety first reported, citing Ann Reinking’s sister-in-law Dahrla Reinking.
Christopher Dean, a dancer and choreographer who teaches Reinking’s niece, announced the news of her death on Facebook on Monday, December 13, writing:
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. Thank you Ann for having the most profound impact on my career. We are even more blessed by the entire Reinking family who have welcomed us in and been a huge part of our lives this past year. The world will miss Ann so much!! The angels are all singing “We got Annie!!”
According to NBC News, Reinking began her acting career in 1965 via a Seattle Opera House production of Bye Bye Birdie. She later transitioned into Broadway, where she gained widespread publicity for her role of Roxie Hart in 1977’s Chicago, the outlet continued.
“She reprised the role when she returned for the 1996 revival of the famed production,” NBC News said.
Her other Broadway roles included Sweet Charity, Over Here! and Goodtime Charley, the outlet said.
She is survived by her husband, Peter Talbert and her son Chris, Variety added.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Reinking Was Born in Seattle & Married 4 Times
According to IMDb, Reinking was born on November 10, 1949, in Seattle, Washington.
She moved to New York when she was 16 on a Joffrey scholarship, The New York Times said, “beginning a professional career that seemed the stuff of old-fashioned musicals.”
Adding, “Drama would permeate her personal life.”
Reinking married four times, including a brief marriage at 21, NYT reported. She shared one son, Christopher, with her ex-husband James Stuart — a businessman she married in 1989, the outlet continued.
According to a National Marfan Foundation press release, Christopher suffers from Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue.
In 1994, Reinking married sportswriter Peter Talbert, The New York Times said.
2. She Played a Fictionalized Version of Herself in Bob Fosse’s 1979 Autobiographical Film All That Jazz
In 1979, Reinking played a fictionalized version of herself In Bob Fosse’s autobiographical film All That Jazz, Variety reported. She played as the “main character’s girlfriend and one of his muses,” the magazine said.
Margaret Qualley later played Reinking, who was with Fosse for years, in FX’s 2019 limited series Fosse/Verdon, Variety continued
“I really did watch her [on video] in the back of a minivan on my way to dance countless times,” Qualley said of Reinking, the outlet continued. “I was really nervous because I wanted to do right by her. I looked up to her for so long, was so familiar with her. More than anything, I wanted her to like it.”
3. Reinking Won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for the 1996 Revival of Chicago
Reinking reprised the role of Roxie Hart in the 1996 revival of Chicago, according to IMDb. She was also the choreographer, which landed her the 1997 Tony Award for Best Choreography, the organization continued.
“Her big Broadway comeback occurred in the early 1990s with Chicago, which won her a well-deserved Tony Award for Best Choreography,” IMDb said.
She was nominated on three other occasions, including Best Actress (Musical) in 1975 for her role in Goodtime Charley, IMDb continued.
4. She Made Her Film Debut in Movie Movie in 1978
According to IMDb, Reinking made her film debut in Movie Movie in 1978 before she went on to work with Roy Scheider and Jessica Lange All That Jazz. The movie won many Oscar nominations, including a run for Best Picture, the organization said.
She also starred in John Huston’s Annie in 1982, IMDb continued, writing:
Reinking was charming as Grace Farrell, the sympathetic and devoted secretary to grouchy Daddy Warbucks (Albert Finney) in John Huston’s Annie (1982), in which she sang the songs “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” “We Got Annie” and “Let’s Go To The Movies.”
IMDb claims her “best performance was also in her last film to date in Blake Edwards’ brilliant 1984 comedy Micki + Maude.”
5. Reinking Was the Founder of Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, Florida
Reinking founded the Broadway Theatre Project, an international program that connects students with professionals who teach the ins and outs of theater life, in 1991, according to the organization’s website.
“Playbill refers to BTP as ‘the world’s most prestigious musical theatre arts education program for high school and college students,'” the website says.
The Project also notes that it has been “associated with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Region 1, since 2012.”