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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 20 October 1914Mobile, Alabama, USA
Date of Death 24 January 2006Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia and complications from a stroke)
Birth NameFayard Antonio Nicholas

Mini Bio (1)

Fayard Nicholas was one-half of The Nicholas Brothers, a famous African-American tap dancing team who appeared in several movies and became one of the famous and most beloved dance team of all time. Both brothers appeared in films such as An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), The Pirate (1948) and The Five Heartbeats (1991). Fayard's brother, Harold Nicholas died on July 3, 2000, while Fayard died on Januray 24, 2006.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: rocknrollunderdawg

Spouse (3)

Katherine Hopkins (2000 - 24 January 2006) (his death)
Barbara January (1967 - 1998) (her death) (1 child)
Geraldine Pate (? - 1942) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Won Broadway's 1989 Tony Award as Best Choreographer for "Black and Blue" along with his collaborators Cholly Atkins, Henry LeTang and Frankie Manning.
Known for doing cartwheels landing in full splits.
Older brother of Harold Nicholas; together, they were billed as The Nicholas Brothers. (Click on group name for additional credits).
Singer and tap dancer.
Dancing for nine U.S. presidents throughout the course of their careers, the brothers were awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 1991.
Continued to tap dance and spoke frequently at dance festivals around the world until suffering a stroke in November of 2005.
Fayard's two granddaughters call themselves the Nicholas Sisters and perform the brothers' old steps on the road.
Compliments followed them wherever they went. Dancer extraordinaire Fred Astaire once called The Nicholas Brothers' "Jumpin' Jive" dance sequence in the film Stormy Weather (1943) the greatest movie musical number he had ever seen. Famed choreographer George Balanchine called their acrobatic movement ballet, despite their lack of formal training. Tapper Gregory Hines once said that if a film were ever made about the Nicholas Brothers, the dance numbers would have to be computer-generated because nobody could duplicate them. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov once called them the most amazing dancers he had ever seen in his life.
Self-taught, Fayard learned how to dance watching vaudeville shows while their parents played in the orchestra pit. He then would teach the routines to his younger brother. Fayard was considered the gregarious one of the duo; Harold was more withdrawn and introspective.
Father of Tony Nicholas.
The brothers broke down racial barriers throughout their career. As child performers at Harlem's Cotton Club they were the only entertainers in the all African-American cast allowed to mingle with patrons.
Former brother-in-law of Dorothy Dandridge. His ex-wife, Geraldine Pate, was her best friend.
The Nicholas Brothers were inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).

Personal Quotes (5)

When we were doing routines, it was like a love affair.
We can't do those routines any more; we don't want to, and I'll tell you why -- it hurts!
My brother and I used our whole bodies, our hands, our personalities and everything. We tried to make it classic. We called our type of dancing classical tap and we just hoped the audience liked it.
One day at the Standard Theater in Philadelphia, I looked onstage and I thought, 'They're having fun up there; I'd like to do something like that.' We worked up an act called 'The Nicholas Kids,' and did it in the living room.
Our father said, 'When you're dancing, don't look at your feet, look at the audience. You're not entertaining yourself, you're entertaining the audience.'

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