Actress Ann Reinking has died aged 71.
The dancer and actress, who won a Tony award for choreographing the hit Broadway revival of Chicago in 1997, passed away in Washington on Saturday.
Her sister-in-law Dahrla King confirmed the sad news to Variety, with a statement from the family reading: “The world and our family have lost a vibrant, amazing talent and beautiful soul. Ann was the heart of our family and the life of the party. She was visiting our brother in Washington state when she went to sleep and never woke up.
“We will miss her more than we can say. Heaven has the best choreographer available now. I’m sure they are dancing up a storm up there! Annie, we will love and miss you always!!!”
As well as her work on Chicago, which included replacing original star Gwen Verdon in the starring role of Roxie Hart, Reinking starred in Broadway shows such as Coco, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity, Wild and Wonderful and Bob Fosse’s Pippin in 1972. Her work on the latter attracted the attention of the legendary director, and they became romantically involved, until splitting in 1978. Their relationship was explored in FX miniseries Fosse/Verdon last year, with Margaret Qualley starring as Reinking.
She also appeared in a number of films, including playing a version of herself in Fosse’s Oscar-winning All That Jazz in 1979 and Grace Farrell in 1982’s Annie.
Reinking is survived by her fourth husband Peter Talbert, and her son Chris from her marriage to James Stuart.