Chita Rivera, the groundbreaking and Tony-winning Broadway icon, has passed away at the age of 91. Her daughter, Lisa Mordente, confirmed the news, stating that Chita Rivera died in New York after a brief illness.
Chita Rivera, the legendary Broadway star, has left an indelible mark on the world of theater, breaking barriers and inspiring countless individuals with her extraordinary talent and unwavering dedication to her craft.
A Trailblazing Career
Chita Rivera, born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson, made history as the first Latina recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor. She was a trailblazer for Latina artists, notably portraying Anita in “West Side Story” in 1957 and Velma Kelly in “Chicago.”
Over six decades on stage, Chita Rivera earned an impressive 10 Tony nominations. She secured the Best Actress in a Musical award for her remarkable performances in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Rink.” Her illustrious career also included starring roles in Broadway productions such as “Threepenny Opera,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Sweet Charity.”
A Lasting Legacy
Even in her later years, Chita Rivera continued to captivate audiences, notably appearing in the 2015 production of “The Visit.” She once expressed that performance was “the spirit of my life,” emphasizing her unwavering passion for the stage.
Chita Rivera’s impact extended beyond the realm of theater. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and achieved New York Times bestseller status with her memoir, “Chita: A Memoir,” released in 2023.
Chita Rivera is survived by her daughter Lisa Mordente, siblings Julio, Armando, and Lola del Rivero, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Her representative, Merle Frimark, announced that her funeral would be private, with details regarding a memorial service to be revealed at a later time.