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Chita Rivera, Broadway legend and trailblazing Latina actress, dies at 91


Chita Rivera, the Broadway legend and trailblazing Latina actress, has died. She was 91 years old.

Lisa Mordente, Rivera’s daughter, said her mother died peacefully on Tuesday in New York City after a brief illness.

Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero in Washington, D.C., on January 23, 1933, Rivera was a trained ballet dancer from a young age and went on to study at the School of American Ballet before heading to Broadway.

Rivera was a triple threat, amassing 10 total Tony nominations and winning twice — the first time for The Rink in 1984 and then for Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993.

She also received nominations for Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Bring Back Birdie, Merlin, Jerry’s Girls, Nine, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life and The Visit.

In 2018, Rivera was awarded a Tony for lifetime achievement in theater, which included originating the roles of Anita in West Side Story, Rose Alvarez in Bye Bye Birdie and Velma Kelly in Chicago.

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