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57th New York Film Festival - "The Cotton Club"

Source: Dominik Bindl / Getty

Legendary Broadway dancer, choreographer and actor Maurice Hines has died at the age of 80.

His cousin and rep, Richard Nurse, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Hines, the older brother of fellow dance legend Gregory Hines, died on Friday (Dec. 29) of natural causes at the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey.

Born Maurice Robert Hines Jr. on December 13, 1943, he studied tap in Manhattan with his younger brother Gregory (who passed away in 2003), with the famed Nicholas Brothers as an early influence.

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Making their debut as The Hines Kids, Maurice and Gregory appeared in the Broadway musical The Girl in Pink Tights in 1954. Throughout the 50s and 60s, the brothers would perform across the U.S. and Europe, later changing the act’s name to The Hines Brothers and then Hines, Hines, & Dad (following the addition of their father, Maurice Hines Sr.).

Their most memorable performance together was their portrayal of feuding brothers Clayton and Sandman Williams in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club in 1984. Maurice gave insight into filming the movie in a 2008 interview, during which he revealed their “Crazy Rhythm!” number was done in two takes.

“In the movie, all our scenes were never scripted. Everything Gregory and I did was improvised. [Coppola said], ‘I can’t give you dialogue on how to be brothers, just do that,’ and we did.”

Maurice saw great success as a solo act as well. He starred, choreographed, and directed in many productions, including SatchmoHarlem SuiteHot Feet, and Uptown… It’s Hot. The latter production earned him a Tony nomination in 1986 for “Best Actor in A Musical.”

Maurice Hines leaves behind his nephew, Zach, and his niece, Daria.

Maurice Hines, Broadway Actor, Choreographer & Dancer, Dies at 80  was originally published on foxync.com