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Ann Reinking, Tony winner and star of Broadway's 'Chicago,' dies at 71

Her work as an actor, a dancer and a choreographer included "Sweet Charity," "Over Here!" "Goodtime Charley" and "Fosse!"
Ann Reinking
Ann Reinking on June 1, 1982.The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

Tony Award-winner Ann Reinking, an actor, dancer and choreographer, died on Saturday night in Washington, her sister-in-law Dahrla Reinking told Variety. She was 71.

News of the actor's death was first announced Monday on Facebook by dancer and choreographer Christopher Dean, who teaches Reinking's niece.

Actress Ann Reinking attending Third Annual Astaire Awards on Oct. 22, 1984 at the Rainbow Room in New York City.Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images file

"The lights on Broadway are forever more dim this morning and there is one less star in the sky," he wrote. "The good news is that heaven has the very best choreographer on earth now."

The star got her acting start in a Seattle Opera House production of "Bye Bye Birdie" in 1965. She soon found her way onto the Broadway stage when she was cast in the ensemble for the 1969 production of "Cabaret."

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She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Roxie Hart in 1977's "Chicago," replacing Gwen Verdon. She reprised the role when she returned for the 1996 revival of the famed production.

"The hope is that in rediscovering 'Chicago,' audiences will rediscover what theater was," Reinking told the New York Times at the time of the show's revival. "It was sophisticated, complicated, adult."

Reinking's other Broadway roles include "Sweet Charity," "Over Here!" and "Goodtime Charley."

The actor spent time choreographing for theater, as well. Her work on the latter "Chicago" ultimately earned her a Tony Award for best choreography.

Reinking also served as the co-creator, co-director and co-choreographer for "Fosse," a musical meant to showcase choreography by Bob Fosse. She created the project alongside Richard Maltby Jr. and Chet Walker.

Actors Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking perform at the 7,486th performance of 'Chicago', the second longest running Broadway show of all time at Ambassador Theater on November 23, 2014 in New York City.Noam Galai / WireImage file

The musical also served as Reinking's final bow on Broadway, as she served as a replacement ensemble member in the 2001.

She is survived by her husband, Peter Talbert, and her son Chris.