Edit
Chita Rivera Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 23 January 1933Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Birth NameDolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway (2015), following the acclaimed production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2014. She starred in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita's first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry's Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 and is the first Hispanic woman ever chosen to receive this award. On November 6, 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' To Do, a retrospective on her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Chita's current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Merle Frimark

Spouse (1)

Tony Mordente (1 December 1957 - 1966) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Jet Black Hair

Trivia (17)

Achieved her first fame on Broadway in 1957, portraying Anita in West Side Story.
Daughter of the late Puerto Rican musician Pedro del Rivero, and his wife, Katherine.
Mother of actress Lisa Mordente.
Chita Rivera is the 2002 John F. Kennedy Center Honors recipient.
Her father was Puerto Rican, and her mother was of mostly Scottish extraction.
Played a character called "Nickie" in both Chicago (2002) and Sweet Charity (1969).
Played "Rosie" in the original Broadway production of "Bye Bye Birdie" (early 1960s), opposite Dick Van Dyke ("Albert"), in a cast which also included Paul Lynde, Michael J. Pollard, and Richard Gautier.
Was the first ever Latin-American to receive the Kennedy Honors Award.
Has won two Tony Awards as Best Actress (Musical): in 1984 for "The Rink," and in 1993 for "Kiss of the Spider Woman--The Musical." And she has earned six additional nominations: one as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) in 1961 for "Bye, Bye Birdie;" four additional Best Actress (Musical) entries, in 1976 for "Chicago," in 1981 for "Bring Back Birdie," in 1983 for "Merlin," and in 1986 for "Jerry's Girls;" and one as Best Actress (Featured Role - Musical) in 2003 for "Nine The Musical!" This is a total of eight nominations, making her the second most nominated actress in Tony history (after Julie Harris, who has ten).
Originated two roles on Broadway which would later win Oscars for the actresses playing them in the film versions: Rita Moreno in West Side Story (1961) and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago (2002).
One of her more unusual dancing partners was children's TV stalwart Dancing Bear (Cosmo Allegretti) on Captain Kangaroo (1955).
She was nominated for a 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical for "The Visit" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Performed the role of "Claire Zachanassian" in John Kander & Fred Ebb's "The Visit" at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia (2008).
Appearing nightly in her one woman cabaret show at Feinstein's at The Regency Hotel in New York City from February 22-March 12, 2005. [February 2005]
Chita: A Legendary Celebration

For one night only, Chita Rivera - a theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents - will offer a star-studded event in honor of her 80th birthday [January 2013]
Currently in her own show on Broadway called Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life [December 2005]
Kicked off her Tour of "Cita Rivera: The Dancers Life" in Cincinnati, Ohio [December 2006]

Personal Quotes (1)

I don't see the camaraderie [on Broadway] as much anymore. Everyone wants to be a soloist before really learning how to relate. When you can relate to the person next to you without words and be alive, when you can keep the energy and interest going, it is magical.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page