Stage guru Maurice Hines enthralled crowds and left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. Hines’ creative journey played out like a rhythmic masterpiece away from the glamour of Broadway, with the sound of his tap shoes echoing with every step.
Throughout his extraordinary career, he delivered outstanding performances in Broadway hits like the spirited “Harlem Suite,” where he not only choreographed the piece but also stole the show.
Hines elevated his distinct talent to the fore of the theater world with songs like “Havana Night in Cuba” and “Satchmo,” which feature soulful beats by Louis Armstrong.
Maurice Hines dies at 84
Maurice Hines, an entertainer of many talents who was well-known for his work as an actor, dancer, and choreographer, died at the age of eighty.
His legacy was enhanced by his noteworthy partnership with his brother Gregory Hines in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Cotton Club.” Friends like John Manzari and Debbie Allen confirmed the tragic news of his passing.
Remembering Maurice Hines’s legacy
At the age of five, Hines began his tap dancing career. In 1954, he made his Broadway debut in “The Girl in Pink Tights.” They created the dynamic duo “Hines, Hines & Dad,” inspired by the Nicholas Brothers, with his brother Gregory. Along with their dancer father, the brothers went on a national tour, performing for various TV shows.
Maurice Hines played Nathan Detroit in a national tour of “Guys and Dolls” after he made the decision to pursue a solo career. He later graced Broadway with his presence in “Eubie!” He was a choreographer and performer for “Uptown…It’s Hot!” and received a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his efforts. Maurice Hines’ incredible journey has left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry.
Maurice Hines demonstrated his skill as a choreographer in a number of shows, such as “Harlem Suite,” in which he also starred, “Satchmo,” the Louis Armstrong musical, and “Havana Night in Cuba.”
Despite being well-known on Broadway and in touring productions, Hines only made one feature film appearance, as a member of the tap-dancing Williams Brothers team, in Coppola’s 1984 musical.
He had appearances on television in the shows “Cosby,” “Eubie!” and “Love, Sidney.”
2010 saw Hines appear in a major role in “Sophisticated Ladies” in Washington, D.C., where she performed on stage alongside the young dance brothers John and Leo Manzari. John Manzari posted a message of thanks on Facebook, recalling the amazing honor of having Maurice as a mentor. Maurice, who was nearly fifty years older than John, showed him such kindness.
Hines left his mark on several other productions, such as “First Lady of Song,” a play honoring Ella Fitzgerald, and “Yo Alice,” a play titled “Tappin’ Thru Life,” which honored his brother.
The 2019 film “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” was a biographical documentary that traced the life and career of this legendary figure in show business.
The early life of Maurice Robert Hines Jr.
Maurice Robert Hines Jr. was born on December 13, 1943, in New York City into a Catholic family. Actor, musician, and dancer Maurice Robert Hines Sr. and actress Alma Iola (Lawless) were his parents.
At the age of five, he started taking tap dance lessons at Manhattan’s Henry LeTang Dance Studio, which marked the beginning of his creative journey. After recognizing Hines’ extraordinary talent, LeTang—who drew inspiration from the well-known Nicholas Brothers—created choreographies specifically for him and his younger brother Gregory.
Born in 1954, Maurice debuted on Broadway as the lead in “The Girl in Pink Tights.”
After making their stage debut, the Hines brothers went on the road quickly, opening for big names like Gypsy Rose Lee and Lionel Hampton. They formed “Hines, Hines & Dad,” a dynamic trio that frequently appeared on stages throughout Europe, Las Vegas, and New York after their father joined the group. Television viewers saw their mesmerizing performances on programs like The Tonight Show, The Hollywood Palace, and The Pearl Bailey Show.