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Mon, 12.13.1943

Maurice Hines, Dancer, Singer, and Choreographer born.

Maurice Hines

*Maurice Hines was born on this date in 1943. He was a Black actor, director, singer, and choreographer. He was Gregory Hines' older brother. Maurice Robert Hines Jr. was born in New York City to a Catholic couple, Alma Iola (Lawless) and Maurice Robert Hines Sr., a dancer, musician, and actor.

Hines began his career at age five, studying tap dance at the Henry LeTang Dance Studio in Manhattan. LeTang recognized his talent and started choreographing numbers for him and his younger brother Gregory, patterned on the Nicholas Brothers. Maurice made his Broadway debut in The Girl in Pink Tights in 1954. He and his brother toured as opening acts for Lionel Hampton and Gypsy Rose Lee. They also performed with their father as "Hines, Hines & Dad.  Venues and shows that featured them included The Pearl Bailey Show, The Tonight Show, and The Hollywood Palace. His solo career includes the national tour of Guys and Dolls and a return to Broadway in Eubie! (1978).

Additional Broadway credits include Bring Back Birdie and Sophisticated Ladies (both in 1981) as a performer, Uptown... It's Hot! (1986) as a performer (earning a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical) and choreographer, and Hot Feet (2006). Hines co-directed and choreographed the national tour of the Louis Armstrong musical biography Satchmo and directed, choreographed, and starred in the national tour of Harlem Suite with successive leading ladies Jennifer Holliday, Stephanie Mills, and Melba Moore. He directed and choreographed Havana Night in Cuba, an all-Latino production of The Red Shoes in the Dominican Republic.

He created the revue Broadway Soul Jam to inaugurate an entertainment complex in the Netherlands. Hines directed and choreographed a music video for Quincy Jones. He was the first African American to direct at Radio City Music Hall. Hines appeared in one feature film: a leading role in the 1984 film The Cotton Club, in which his brother Gregory portrayed the "Williams Brothers." Hines also appeared in Oops, Ups & Downs: The Murder Mystery of Humpty Dumpty in 2007. On television, he appeared in Eubie, Love, Sidney, and Cosby. Hines played the lead role in Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage production of Sophisticated Ladies at the historic Lincoln Theatre in 2010.

Hines conceived, directed, and choreographed Yo Alice, an urban hip-hop fantasy written by Lee Summers and staged for a workshop in 2000 and a reading in 2007 at the Triad Theatre. In 2013, he performed a tribute to his late brother Gregory, entitled Tappin' Thru Life: An Evening with Maurice Hines, at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, and opened in November 2013 for a six-week run at the Arena Stage, where The Washington Post wrote, "it's a pleasure to be in the company of a shameless, ebullient vaudeville heart." Originally commissioned in 2004, Hines conceived and directed Ella, First Lady of Song, a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. It has had three developmental out-of-town try-outs, which include The Crossroads Theatre and Metro Stage Theatre in Washington, D.C., and most recently, the Delaware Theatre Company in 2018.

In 2019, John Carluccio directed the feature film Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, a biographical documentary about him. The film was awarded the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize at the DOC NYC Film Festival in the fall of 2019. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film "Digs much deeper than your usual showbiz doc." Joining Hines, the film includes appearances by Chita Rivera, Mercedes Ellington, and Debbie Allen. Maurice Hines died in Englewood, New Jersey, on December 29, 2023, at 80.

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