Chita Rivera

Chita Rivera Headshot

Actress • Singer • Dancer

Birth Date: January 23, 1933

Death Date: January 30, 2024

Birth Place: Washington, D.C.

Chita Rivera was a dynamic Latina dancer-singer-actress, a staple of Broadway musicals for four decades. Shortly after studying for several years at George Balanchine's American School of Ballet, Rivera made her Broadway debut in "Call Me Madam" (1952). A sinuous dancer very much in the vein standardized by Jerome Robbins and later Bob Fosse, Rivera brought her fiery energy to many Broadway and regional productions, including originating the role of Anita in "West Side Story" (1959), "Can Can," "Mr. Wonderful," "Bye, Bye Birdie" (as Spanish Rose), "Shinebone Alley," "Chicago" (as Velma), "Merlin," "Jerry's Girls" and a Tony-winning turn opposite Liza Minnelli in "The Rink." Rivera has frequently appeared on TV, most often on such variety specials as "Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Styne" (1987). She has played occasional dramatic roles on TV, including a memorable turn as the sinister Mrs. Dame on an episode of the cult series "The Outer Limits" (1963-64). Rivera also appeared in Bob Fosse's adaptation of the Broadway hit "Sweet Charity" (1969), in which, as one of Shirley MacLaine's sassy girlfriends, she sparkled singing and dancing to "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" with MacLaine and Paula Kelly. After a severe automobile accident in 1986, it seemed doubtful that Rivera would ever dance again, but she returned to Broadway in triumph as the film star centerpiece of a gay prisoner's fantasies in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1993). The role earned her second Tony as Best Actress in a Musical.

Credits

A Capitol Fourth 2022

Music Performer
Show
2022

United in Song: Celebrating the American Dream

Host
Show
2021

The 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

Self
Show
2021

The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back!

Self
Show
2021

Tamron HallStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Bathtubs Over Broadway

Actor
Herself
Show
2018

Bathtubs Over Broadway

Self
Movie
2018

Waiting in the Wings: Still Waiting

Actor
Broadway Diva
Movie
2017

Maya & Marty

Music Performer
Series
2016
38%

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

Guest
Talk
2015

The 69th Annual Tony Awards

Music Performer
Show
2015

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky

Actor
Movie
2012

My Generation

Guest
Show
2008

Kalamazoo?

Actor
Giannina
Movie
2006

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Will & GraceStream

Guest Star
Lenore
Series
1998

The ViewStream

Guest
Talk
1997

Mayflower Madam

Actor
Risa Dickstein
Movie
1987

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

Guest
News
1979

Live From Lincoln Center

Music Performer
Show
1976

The Marcus-Nelson Murders

Actor
Josie Hopper
Movie
1973

Great PerformancesStream

Music Performer
Franchise
1972

The New Dick Van Dyke Show

Actor
Connie Richardson
Show
1971

Sweet Charity

Actor
Nickie
Movie
1969
82%

The Carol Burnett ShowStream

Guest
Series
1967

The Judy Garland Show

Guest Star
Talk
1963

The Outer LimitsStream

Actor
Series
1963
92%

Arthur Godfrey and the Sounds of New York

Actor
Show
1963

The Revlon Revue

Actor
Show
1960

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

Guest
Show
1956

The Maurice Chevalier Show

Self
Show
1956

TodayStream

Guest
News
1952

What's My Line?Stream

Guest
Game Show
1950

News aboutChita Rivera