August 10, 2003 by

Gregory Hines

106 comments

Categories: Actors, Hollywood

ghines.jpgGregory Oliver Hines, a Tony Award-winning actor and dancer, died on Aug. 9 from cancer. He was 57.

When he was a child, Hines’ mother encouraged him and his older brother, Maurice, to study tap dancing as a way to get out of the ghetto. Maurice took lessons and then came home and taught Hines the steps he had learned. They performed together at the Apollo, in the Broadway musical, “The Girl in Pink Tights,” and in the Francis Ford Coppola film, “The Cotton Club.”

Hines joined forces with Maurice and his father, Maurice Robert Hines Sr., in 1963 to create the act, Hines, Hines and Dad. The family performed together for a decade on the nightclub circuit and on television.

In 1981, Hines landed his first film role as a Roman slave in the Mel Brooks comedy, “History of the World Part I.” He showed off his tap dancing mastery when he starred alongside veteran hoofers Sammy Davis Jr. and Sandman Sims in “Tap.” Hines also acted in dozens of successful movies, including “Running Scared,” “Renaissance Man” and “Waiting to Exhale.”

Between movie jobs, Hines made numerous guest appearances on television, and headlined his own CBS sitcom, “The Gregory Hines Show,” in 1997. He appeared on Broadway and co-hosted the Tony Awards last year with Bernadette Peters.

Hines took home his own Tony for best actor in a musical in 1993 for playing jazz legend “Jelly Roll” Morton in “Jelly’s Last Jam.” He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1999 for his work as the voice of “Big Bill” in the Bill Cosby animated TV series “Little Bill,” and two NAACP Image Awards for “Bojangles” and “Running Scared.”

Watch Hines Tap Dance With Savion Glover

106 Responses to Gregory Hines

  1. aileen gundran

    I first heard that Gregory Hines died months ago… only to find out that it was Gregory Peck was the person who passed on then. Before I found out that I had the wrong impression, I researched websites after websites about Mr. Hines.
    I was happy then to find out that it was not Mr. Hines that passed away.
    You can imagine the loss I felt when I once again heard that actually and truly passed on August 9.. A big loss of a debonair, persistent, and multi skilled individual. He never showed signs of his disappointments in his career. 0

  2. ALMA

    I HEARD OF GREGORY HINES DEATH A FEW DAYS AFTER THE FACT.I WAS AT THE MARKET WHEN GLANCING FROM THE CORNER OF MY EYE I, SAW THE CAPTION ON A MAGAZINE:”GREGORY HINES DIES AT 57.”I WAS STUNNED BY THE HEADLINES AND PAUSED FOR A MINUTE TO UNDERSTAND MY REACTION. I NEVER KNEW HIM PERSONALLY BUT I FELT AS IF IN SOME SMALL WAY HE WAS PART OF MY LIFE. I WAS ABOUT EIGHT YRS OLD WHEN I FIRST SAW HIM DANCING WITH HIS BROTHER AS HIS DAD KEPT THE BEAT ON DRUMS. I DID NOT KNOW HIS NAME OR WHO HE WAS. I ONLY KNEW THAT HIS CHARMING ESSENCE ENVELOPED ME. AS I GREW OLDER I NEVER BECAME AN OFFICIAL FAN OR WROTE A LETTER OF APPRECIATION FOR HIS TALENT, BUT WHEN EVER I COULD I WOULD CATCH HIS PERFORMANCES ON TELEVISION, MOVIES, AND THE ONE AND ONLY TIME THAT I WAS ABLE TO SEE A LIVE PERFORMANCE ON B’WAY. I OF COURSE WAS AN ADULT BY THE TIME, I WAS ABLE TO SEE JELLY’S LAST JAM. IT WAS PROBABLY THE WORST SEAT IN THE HOUSE BUT IT WAS ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS THAT I KEPT RELIVING OVER AND OVER IN MY MIND. I ONCE SAW HIM ABOUT 20 FEET FROM ME AT MACY’S ON 57TH ST. IN MANHATTAN. I WAS TOO EXCITED BUT TOO SHY TO TAKE THE CHANCE AND SAY “HI, IVE ALWAYS ADMIRED YOU.” INSTEAD I JUST STARED FOR A FEW MINUTES AS HE WALKED AWAY. AS AN UNOFFICIAL LIFE LONG FAN I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY DEEPEST REGRET FOR NOT TELLING HIM HE THAT HIS TALENTS WERE TRULY APRECIATED. MY SINCEREST HEART FELT SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND ALL FANS OF GREGORY HINES LIKE MYSELF.

  3. Brenda Renae Hueston Smith

    I was watching the 55th Emmy Awards when I first learned of Gregory Hines Death! I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Hines in Chicago in the late 80’s or early 90’s at a Jazzercise Conference! He taught a Large group of over a Thousand Jazzercisers a few Tap dancing steps! He was Great! He mentioned that he loved Plus sized women and the crowd went crazy! God has a special place for Mr. Hines and I believe he is tap Dancing in the sky right now, with so many of our Great people who have preceded us! I feel honored and Blessed to have met him, and sad that he has passed and all my Blessings go out to his family and friends! Thank you! Brenda Renae Hueston Smith

  4. Barb Stender

    Where have I been???? I did not know this legend had passed away! How I’ll miss him! He had to be one of the nicest people, the best tap dancer as well as an actor. My heart aches for the loss of this lovely man. Many condsolences to his family and many friends.
    Barbara Stender.

  5. Sue Kelly

    I’ve just watched a review of films for 2003 on UK today. It ended with a memorial to the people in the business who died this year. I had no idea Gregory Hines had died and still so young making it even more tragic.
    There are so few poepl with skills like his that echo the old glamour of HollywoodI What a talent. Keep dancing in heaven, you’ll be missed.

  6. brooke davis briggs

    I ALWAYS LOVED GREGORY HINES, EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT KNOW HIM PERSONALLY, HE WAS A GREAT INSPIRATION AND JOY IN MY LIFE EVERY TIME I COULD I WOULD CATCH A SHOW HE WAS IN. HE WAS A WONDERFUL PERSON.
    I FOUND OUT HE WAS DEAD WHEN I WAS ON VACATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN A MONDAY AND I SAW IT IN THE NEWS AND I CRIED AND REALIZED THAT I DID NOT KNOW HIM PERSONAALY BUT HE TOUCHED A LOT PEOPLE IN A WAY HE WILL NEVER KNOW AFTER i GOT THE NEWS I WROTE A POEM ABOUT HIM AND I CAN SAY THAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT i EVER DID IN MY LIFE WITH SO MUCH EMOTION YOU COULD FEEL THE SAME PAIN THAT i DID WHEN I HEARD THE NEWS.

  7. Gloria Harris

    I just found out this handsome talented man died this year when I watched the Soul Train Music Award show that I had taped. I was so hurt to learn of his death, I went to my computer and found this website and read that he died of Cancer. I felt like Gregory Hines was a member of my family all of my life, maybe it was a connection from God. Rest In Peace Gregory we love you…

  8. Rachel Lubin

    I remember watching him in the movie Waiting to Exhale and Tap. Those big beautiful eyes got my attention. I will miss a wonderful person such as Gregory Hines. But I do know one thing he’s in a better place and that place is called Gods Kingdom. Rest in peace my friend in that place you will suffer no more.

  9. Breena Lane Ray

    As I watched CNN tonight, I learned of Gregory Hines’ death. I saw a brief flash across the screen as Mr. Hines’ passing was acknowledged in the same sentence as that of another of America’s beloved entertainers. I did not register the other name. I just heard “Gregory Hines.” I paused in my work and looked again at the TV. I thought, “Did they say Gregory Hines? That’s got to be a mistake. They must have said, ‘A dear friend of Gregory Hines.’ Massive internet information confirmed the worst.
    How could I not have known of the death of such an amazing person? The world should stop briefly at moments like that.
    I am a music teacher in Central New York.I’m sure that at the time of his death, I was busily preparing for the new school year. Gregory’s beautiful artistic contributions have inspired me in so many ways in my work with children. I remember his work with Mikhail B., and thought of it often in graduate school as I met and worked with new friends from formerly Communist countries soon after the Berlin wall came down.I never thought that I would be able to meet fellow artists from that part of the world in my lifetime. The dancers’ movie had made me yearn for such a chance, and I could not believe that it actually happened.
    In this past year, the world has lost many wonderful people. Entertainers, personal friends and family, and, horribly, so many human lives, potential friends and colleagues, in Iran. I find it unbearable to think of so many human beings lost in one short day. This is yet another reminder that history, culture, politics, or chosen religion notwithstanding, we have no control over certain earthly events. Our utmost goals in life should be understanding and helping each other. I also believe, however, that those of us left behind must enjoy each of our days. We must appreciate each other and do the best we can for ourselves, our families, and for humanity.
    Thank you, Gregory Hines, for your contributions to humanity. I thank your family, on behalf of my daughter and son, my students, and myself, for creating and nurturing you for the greater good of us all.
    Breena Lane Ray
    New York

  10. Katy K. NY

    I feel the same way as Breena Lane Ray (above, post Dec. 30)… I read of Gregory Hines passing when I bought the most recent issue of People magazine with all the entertainers listed who died in 2003. I flipped the page to his photo and “Gregory Hines, 57” at the top of the page and thought, “that can’t be! How could someone so important to my life… such an amazing and gifted person… pass and I not know about it until 5 months later?!?!” I immediately sought the internet for news that somehow People had been mistaken.
    I will never forget the moment I fell in love with Gregory as I watched him pour out his heart and soul through his feet in my all-time favorite movie, “White Nights” opposite Mikhail Barishnikoff and Isabella Rosellini. I was barely a teenager in 1985 when the movie came out, but it moved me beyond words and I returned to the theater 6 more times to watch it, all alone because my friends didn’t “get it”, before it moved out of the single-screen theater in town.
    I will NEVER forget you, Gregory. I’m ashamed that I took for granted that you would be with us for years to come and didn’t even know you suffered from the Dread Disease, let alone that you were gone.
    Until we meet…

  11. Leah Avriana Amiliani

    I was just watching the film White Lie which stars Gregory Hines. I like many artists in so many fields, why do I still feel so sad? Should Joshua Bell the violist, or Renee Fleming the soprano, or Johnny Depp the actor (tiny list due to space) die suddenly so young, I would feel a loss. I inhale the beauty they create and I would be sad that no more can come from them. I am sad Mozart and Schubert died so young, and wonder what was lost to the world. BUT, can you LOVE someone you have never met? I didn’t think about him. I had no idea of his impact on me until the shockwave hit. I think some people possess miraculous talent, and they become famous. But a very, very small subset of these people possess something compelling, for which I have no words, and they become Loved. I love Gregory Hines. Not merely enjoy his performances, but everything that makes him Gregory Hines, as much as I can know. I love his unique face, and I wish with all my heart that he were on this earth. He should have lived until 98 at least. I miss my dad who died in 1990. I think of him often. I am sure those close to Gregory will think of him often, and I wish for them a quickly passing mourning, a healing, so that they can think of Gregory always with pleasure. Here are films some may not know of and should enjoy. Trigger Happy, also known as Mad Dog time. White Lie. History of the World Part 1. OF COURSE White Knights and Cotton Club. I hope heaven is a place where there is time to tell souls special to you that you love them. Certain family members, Abraham Lincoln, President Kennedy, Gregory Hines, and Raul Julia will be the first I’ll seek for my “dance card”. God gave you gifts, Gregory, but you refined yourself into who you are. If you want to meet my dad, a holocaust survivor and a great rebuilder of life, he’ll be busy making a lush garden. Don’t worry, I’ll find YOU by your smile. Leah Avriana Amiliani.

  12. Constance B. Sims

    I have just finished watching the Trumpet Awards. A gentleman came out to tap dance (I don’t remember his name). While he was dancing, a slide show of talented African Americans that had passed away was going on. At the end of the slide show was Gregory Hines. I immediatly, said what happen to Gregory Hines? I did not know he had passed away. I came to my computer and search for him and here I am.
    Gregory Hines was one of my favorite people. Any show that come on and he is in it, I make it my business to watch it. He seem so full of grace and compasion. Gregory Hines was a very talented person and I am going to truly miss him.
    I am so very sadden for his family and pray that Gods grace continue to comfort them.
    Peace and Blessings
    Constance Bonita Sims

  13. Rafael Perez

    No recuerdo la primera vez que vi bailar a Gregory Hines,Tampoco la ultima,Pero puedo cerrar mis ojos y recordar.Su gran talento,su sonrisa y su manera tan especial y magica de realisar algo tan dificil con tanta facilidad.Ayer mientras cambiaba de canal,me entere de su muerte,y una vez mas me sorprendio haciendo algo tan facil como morir tan dificil de creer.Mi mas grande admiracion.descansa en paz.
    Rafael Perez
    Puerto Rico

  14. Kim

    Why was his death such a secret. I was watching the Academies Awards and saw that Gregory Hines was recognized for his life in entertainment.

  15. Danielle

    I am doing a research on Gregory Hines and if u can give me any ifo on him e mail me at “Sillysoftball@aol.com”. I wanted to also say that i am very very sad that he died at such a young age.

  16. Jana Preston

    I teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade dance and drama to junior high school students in Benton Harbor Michigan. In my classes I would show segments of Tap, White Nights, and other films Gregory Hines was in to inspire my students. I did not know he died until I was watching the Academy Awards in March of 2004. What a loss. I am still in shock. He was so young. Thank you Gregory for your smile, energy, talent and inspiration. Jana Preston

  17. Sharmaine

    I am in Mrs.Haskins drama class and I didn’t know he died until today,March 04,2004. I just want to say thank you for your changing the way people dance today.

  18. Ernest Malonkane

    I first heard of his passing on the radio, it felt like I didn’t hear well. I was so disturbed that I did not even finish my lunch meal on that day. I just could not believe that Gregory Hines is no more. He passed away sometime in August, and I only heard of it in November. The news of his passing immediately triggered all the memories of those days when I was a teen. I used to enjoy his Tap dance scences in his movies, and recently I regularly watched “The Gregory Hines Show” on TV. His song “so much better now” from his self titled album is a master piece indeed, he is one of my favourite music stars.
    Gregory Hines may be gone, but he will forever live in our hearts.
    Thank you for such an awsome life Greg, you lived your life to the fullest and eventhough we may not have had a privilege of meeting you, but one thing is clear, you have shed so much inspiration to so many of us on this planet. Rest in peace and God bless you!!!
    Ernest Malonkane
    South Africa

  19. Pete

    I heard of Mr. Hines passing back in december but chalked it off as bad information.Recently at the oscars they paid tribute to those who passed recently and there again was Mr. Hines..No denying it now,a legend and an all around wonderful human being is gone..No doubt teaching the angels the sand dance he did in History of the world 🙂 You sir,will be missed greatly.

  20. Courtney G.

    Gregory Hines was truley a legend. I had the pleasure of meeting him on July 8th, 2001. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. My sister had the honor of taking a class taught by him. She was thrilled when she was asked to take it. Being a little white girl from MA, we never thought that he would pay any attention to her. Little did we know that he would ask her to go up on stage and dance with him. Nor that he woudl come over to our car, and talk to us. It was amazing. I was so upset when I found out that Mr. Hines had passed away. I cried for days. I still pray that God watches over this talented man every night of my life. Thank you Mr. Hines for making me such a happy little girl.

  21. annife campbell

    i too am greatly saddenned at the passing of mr. hines. I was so shocked to have heard of his passing when i was watching the oscars. It is truly ridiculous that such a legendary talent of both stage and screen death was kept so secretive.
    but gregory you are truly missed.

  22. Janet Warren

    Only, once in my life have I truly been in love with a man on the movie screen and Gregory Hines was that man. My baby sister actually got to meet you and she said that you kissed her hand. Ah, just like the true gentleman you are. I was, and still am very jealous of that precious moment she had with you that I missed. I have watched him since I can remember. It was something about his heart that showed on his face and it embraced you, even on the movie screen. Gregory I will miss your sweet face and magnificent skill, especially your voice. I still listen to you and Luther Vandross’s duet. It is one of my favorite songs. I am listening to it as I write this tribute to one of my favorite mega stars. You were truly an angel sent by God himself. I know that God is finally glad to have you back home, even though you are going to be truly missed here on earth. Rest in Peace, Brother Gregory and know you are truly missed.

  23. LL

    I’ve never seen Gregory Hines in person, nor have i met him. I appreciate as a tap dancer myself the hard work and skill needed to become such a great like Mr. Hines. I cannot explain how much i will miss him.

  24. Beverly Clark

    I too only heard of it this in March on the Oscars and always loved his dancing but the one personal thing I remember was that at the last personal performance of Sammy Davis dancing before he died Gregory came up and kissed his tap shoes and I thought how gracious and giving that was because he was so good himself and my favorite dancer! He was such a real person.

  25. Colleen

    I heard of Mr. hines death and it truly upset me. He was a beautiful and talented young man. I am so sorry that he is gone. He has been an inspiration to us all.

  26. Brett Coleman

    I was suddenly saddened by the death of Mr. Hines. Although I have never personally met him, I feel a sense of loss from his death. He seemed so real that this feels real. My blessings and condolences to his family along with many thank you’s for allowing Gregory to grace our presence through the arts & entertainments.
    Sincerely,
    B.C.

  27. Stephen Mahy

    I never knew Gregory Hines until today when my mother told me he had passed. I remember his great work, and especially the tribute he gave to Sammy Davis Jr. when Sammy was himself dying from throat cancer. He did a tap dance and Sammy who was in the audience, weakened as he was got up and danced with him. At the end Gregory kissed Sammy’s shoes. I thought that was so touching. The other thing is he looks almost exactly like an uncle of mine. May he rest in peace.

  28. AMC

    I was working in the ER at the time at Loma Linda University and i saw this very familiar face,very unique look you know the one that you can spot instantly as Gregory Hines. I followed this familiar looking man…..as the Dancer and how i admired his talent and Wit. I needed to know that this is who i thought it was, i approached him and straight up asked him “You’re Gregory Hines” and when he smiled there was no denying it. I did not ask him why he was there…..there were a few people with him and he was not in the ER for services, he was in the hospital on one of the Units and i don’t know for who but i can put two and two together. Whatever the case may be this man will be missed and that is the beginning and end of it. Missed by family, friends and fans……Peace to you Gregory Hines

  29. trish

    i had no idea Gregory Hines had died until I heard a tribute by Pdiddy and now i can’t explain why i should feel so sad about someone i’ve never met. but there it is – i do feel sad – which must mean that in the few moments i saw him on screen, that smile, those eyes and that tap left a mark. I am truly sorry you are no longer here.

  30. Meera

    So much done and so many inspired by such a young age, 57…wow. My heart ached when I heard of your death. So many of your performances flashing through my mind. I’ll never forget when you were so touched at Sammy Davis Jr.’s dance that you fell to your knees and kissed his feet. I cried at that moment, just like at so many moments that I saw you dance on TV. I am a dancer myself- not a tap dancer, but an Indian and belly dancer- and the energy that flowed through your dance, Mr. Hines, I will cherish in my heart and my art forever. It is a true loss for us here in the material world, and a true gain for those up in heaven to have you. May your energy live forever, and may your soul rest in peace.

  31. Beverly Blair

    From the first time I laid my eyes on Gregory Hines, I was in love. Never met the man, but the way he carried himself was just exciting to me. I have seen every film he has every made. I was very disappointed to know he had passed but I know he is dancing for a much higher power and it’s all right. I will see him again…Good by Gregory, I’ll see you later.

  32. James Taylor

    greg you were great I loved you in renaissance man
    its so sad you had to go but you left such an footprint here on earth you are remembered.

  33. Leslie

    Well, I’m yound and wasn’t really able to see his older movies. but the ones that I did see, man he was good. Even outside of the movie roles. Gregory Hines is a legend. The best tap dancer there ever was. Sweet at heart the nicest person that one could meet. He is truly missed. It is just something else when you know that one of the greatest has left the building.

  34. Gene Golbourne

    I got to met Mr. Gregory Hines in the summer of 1995 at the Jan Tana Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition in Roanoke Va. he was a very funny and friendly man. Unknown to many, Mr. Hines was a big,big fan of bodybuilding and fitness. Mr Hines sported quite a physique himself and dedicated alot of time and effort into that endeveour. Upon meeting Mr. Hines i felt truly in the company of royalty. I’ve always been and still remain one of the biggest Gregory Hines fans alive or dead. His movies and performances continue to inspire a new generation of actors, dancers and entertainers. My personal favorites are White Nights and Running Scared, but who could ever forget him in history of the World Part I. Rest in Peace Gregory Hines, your legend shall endure!

  35. Hason Taylor

    I’m still in shock! I seen waiting to exhale the ohter day it’s just so hard to belive he is really gone! I feel they didn’t give all they could have gave to such a remarkable man. I hate the T.v world because they glorifies such junk as sex, murder, and lies. Here the greats are treated like they’ve not done a thing. Mr.Hines a true dancer,sanger actor and most of all a good guy who barely I feel was given his full tibute.
    All this man has done for the world of modren tap and black arts and this is all the movie and T.v net works has to offer barely a thing on him. It took great currage and heart to maintaine in a chaging world but Gregory hines did it.
    What I will keep in my heart dear from Mr.Hines is his mastery to change. He mastered life he accepted the good with the bad. He is a true man and I felt like his life was just a dance to me, and his dance was a great performance. Can’t belive he’s gone!
    It feels like he’s on break into a second song stage performance and the world is just waiting for him to come back out. I can’t belive it! Every thing he has done been trend setting and a staine on your brain. I’m still fasinated by his moves. He should be the poster man for anything that advertize dance or tap. I hope thier is a movie on his life,a book, an award in honor for his excellents because Mr. hines deserves it.

  36. Celeste

    Gregory Hines did it all. He was my idol. I began tap dancing at age 3 and by the time I was 15 I had the pleasure of meeting him. He was truly a talented and generous man. I will never forget him. He will be missed!

  37. Emily

    How saddened I was to learn of the death of such a wonderful and inspirational artist. I was never fortunate enough to meet such a talented actor, singer and performer. Many times we are asked what our “Ultimate Dream in life” would be. And for many years I would tell people that my ultimate dream in life would be to put on my “retired” tap shoes for the chance to dance with Gregory Hines. Now that he has passed away this dream on earth is now gone. I will have to wait until I meet him on the other side for this dream to be fullfilled. I thank him for being such an inspiration to all nationalities and levels of talent. I found it humorous to read that he was fond of Plus sized women because even in my days of tap dancing I was always “that heavy set girl who could really dance” He was so much a part of the reason that I kept dancing and I never got the chance to thank him for being such an inspirational African-American legend in his own time. Now his time has come to dance for the Father and I know that all of the angels in heaven are giving him his much deserved STANDING OVATION. God Bless you Gregory and all of the lives you have touched! Especially mine.

  38. eruotor noel

    i knew him when i got to know of the duet he did with luther vandross, ‘nothing better than love’
    even in death, i still love him so very much.
    may his soul rest in peace.

  39. DAVE CROSS

    GREG WAS A WONDERFUL PERSON HE HAD YOU LAUGH, HE MADE YOU CRY, HE WAS A GREAT ACTOR,DANCER, AND A GOOD ROLE MODEL…
    I WILL MISS HIM…
    DJ CRUZ
    AKA DAVE CROSS
    BALTIMORE

  40. Mike Cleaver

    It’s October 2004 and I just learned of the passing of Gregory Hines. Where have I been and what was I doing in August 2003, not to have learned the great loss to everyone who appreciates the talent and beauty of his dancing and kindness in his smile.

  41. Justine

    Gregory Hines was a great performer and a wonderful person! When I heard that this leagandary tap dancer died I was very sad because he is such wonderful person! But he will never be forgotton in my eyes his soul will always live on as Gregory Hines the greatest tap dancer of his generation! We miss you!

  42. Howard Sims Jr

    Thank you for posting this message board about my dad “Howard Sandman Sims” and Gregory Hines. I grew up around all of the great Hoofers and Gregory and Savion are a product of all of them which I’ll name here so they are not forgotten: Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slide, Howard “Sandman” Sims Sr, Buster Brown, Lon Chaney Harold Nicholas, Fayard Nicholas and Gregory Hines where the primary hoofers after legends like Bill Bojangles Robinson Buck and Bubbles and Peg Leg Bates. I grew up around all these cats and they where all the most beautiful people you would ever meet that went thru the hardest of times, worked anywhere they could to make a buck and stayed true to the craft they loved and supported there families with even as children. I am doing my peice to keep my dads name and the Hoofers legacy alive with The Sandman Sims Feet First Foundation a free to low cost dance program for inspired underprivilaged youth and the soon to come premier of The Hoofers Club” Live entertainment for the freshest new underground tap talent to have steady work. also watch for a documentary on Sandman sims called the Portrait of an artist-the Howard Sandman Sims Story.

    • Janet Bianchini

      Bravo Mr Sims for keeping the legends alive! They were trail blazers, each with their own style and technique and possessed mutual admiration for each other. Keep the art of tap dancing alive making it affordable and accessable for everyone!

  43. Dan Mark

    it is so unfortunate that Hines passed away.I was watching his duet song “there is nothing better than love”with Luther Vandross and i decided to look up Hine’s information in his website only to find out that he actually passed away 2 years ago.It is extremely sad.I just cannot believe it.But that song will live for all times!!!!!trust me

  44. Kahnehkiiostha

    Gregory Hines was an inspiring Tap dancer a great actor and a spectaculaur singer i know gregory hines was many peoples roll models and i know that nobody will ever be able to take his place!. i just hope i will be able to sing as good as he could! lol

  45. Vittorio

    In Italy Gregory Hines is not much known.
    But I know him. I read the notice today (March 30 2005), maybe too late but really sorry. I could believe that.
    Goodbye Mr. Bojangles.

  46. aileen d

    I was hurted to here about greg death. I love the role where he played in waiting to exhale. He will be truly missed.

  47. Sharon Simmons

    Gregory Hines was a great actor and dancer. He will be always remembered for the movie Tap and Running Scaried. I think he was the most handsome man I had ever seen on TV . He smiled and had such great big brown eyes.

  48. David Mercado

    Mr.Hines Was one of the greatest talents of my generation great dancer good actor just see the cotton club,running scared,taps,renaissance man where he plays the serious drill seargent the man was that talent and dont forget deal of century whit chevy chase i miss him still becuse he’s my inspiration,R.I.P.

  49. Anonomous

    I did not personally know Gregory, but I am still sad over his death. I just came across this website because I’m writing a paper on him. It has made me remember the day I found out he had passes away. I was walking into tap class and saw that my teacher looked upset. When we asked him about it, he became teary eyed, and even more emotional. It was a difficult class. We will all miss Gregory Hines and my only regret is that I didn’t get to meet him before he died.

  50. Russell

    It has been 2 years plus, but I am deeply hurt by Gregory’s death..I really began to miss him after viewing the music video Sweet Freedom for the movie Running Scared…He and Billy Crystal had so much fun during the making of that movie…What a tragedy to lose someone of this magnitude so young…I wish I had appreciated much more when he was here…I will truly miss you, man..

  51. Barry

    Boy I was talking to my daughter today. I told her “Boy I really miss Gregory Hine I thought about the Movie ” Waiting to Exhale”, every time I look at this movie he portrayed such sweetness and honesty such a Man… He will definitely be missed.

  52. Tha Blaq Sinattra

    G.H was so multi-talented. I saw him standing in front of that sushi place thats in the Venice traffic loop thing. He looked so classy. Him and Billy Crystal made a good team and they should have done more movies like Pryor and Wilder. He suprised us with the Luther duet.

  53. Kim Elks

    I knew Gregory passed away some time ago but not what he passed from. I have been watching old videos which have included Luther Vandross (another sad loss to this world). All i can say is that perhaps Luther and Gregory are still singing great songs where ever they are and that they would be greatly touched by all the messages they receive from the hundreds of fans they both had all over the world. Gregory has been an inspiration to lots of younger tap dancers. I remember the young chap that used to tap dance on Sesame Street and the only equal I could think of was Gregory. I know that when I hear Gregory sing or dance I will never forget his incredible talent. Live on Greg and say Hi to Luther for me!

  54. Lindell Holness

    I was really upset when I heard that Gregory had passed away. The first time I realised that he had a talent for something other than dancing was when I heard him on Luther Vandross’s track, “There’s nothing better than love”, which still make me cry. I had not realised he had such a great voice. I would have loved to have seen him perform in concert with Luther (as I have been to many of Luther’s concerts) and seeing them sing this song together would have been the icing on the cake for many of Luther’s AND Gregory’s fans. Gregory has now joined the crew of the best live act there could ever be, Luther, Marvin, Gerald, Nat King Cole, Bing, and dancing with the greats like Sammy Davis, Fred Astaire, Sandeman Sims. RIP Greg you were definetly one of the best. Thank You.

  55. Frank Sperandeo

    If I was younger I would have taken tap dance lessons way back when. Greg would have been my inspiration and mentor. I am going to miss this gentleman.

  56. Judi

    Every now and again something comes across my life that reminds me of Gregory Hines and those eyes, smile and those feet. As I now watch the previews of “Happy Feet” I cannot help but think of Gregory every time I see it again and again. I must have seen him do that exact same dance many times on television. As I watch, I keep wondering where is he, I haven’t seen him in a while. So I decided here and now to research him and I am saddened to realize that he has passed away. He had been one of my favorite dancers to watch, I put him right up there with Sammy Davis. God Bless him and his family…he truly brought a smile to me.

  57. robert.abbott123@ntlworld.com

    what a beautiful human being now danceing again with the great late sammy davies jnr the world is becomming a very lonely place, so many brillant artists in film and music leaving us so young in heart i will watch his tv films with a warm glow in my heart he and the others we have lost john lennon george harrison charlie chaplin dean martin frank sinatra sammy davies jnr james cagney elvis roy orbison brian jones to name just a few may they all rest in peace

  58. Sandra Bacon

    I just watched White Nights for the umpteenth time and again wondered how Gregory Hines died so young. This time, I decided to look it up and found this site. I think it’s obvious that Mr. Hines’ easy charm, great smile, warm eyes and seemingly effortless dance made us all feel that we knew him a little and loved him a lot. I miss him.

  59. Patricia

    Gregory Hines had one of the most beautiful singing voices I’d ever heard. His duet with Luther “Thers’s Nothing Better Than Love” will always be one of my all time favorites.

  60. Alex Bustamante

    From the day I heard that Gregory Hines had pasted away I felt a great loss for such a talented man. The other day I watched an episode of “Will & Grace” and there he was instantly I remembered how such a smooth charectorhe was. He danced with “Jake” like a really legend. He will be missed.

  61. Austin Idehen

    I recently saw Mr. Hines on an episode of Will & Grace. Seeing him again made me realize how talented he was and how much he will be missed. It’s very important to love and be loved because tomorrow is not promised. May his legacy live on.

  62. Mary McWhorter

    Just finished watching TAP being replayed on tv in memory of what would be Gregory Hines’ upcoming 61st birthday. What magic! What talent in just one man whose humble personality, broad smile and fascinating size 11 tap shoes showed the entertainment world the purest definition of class. How would I know? I had the privilege of meeting Gregory Hines while he was filming in NYC in 1996. While sharing memories of his mentor and friend, Peg Leg Bates who was born in my native SC, I marveled at this charismatic man whose talent was secondary to the gentleman he was both on and off the stage. Dance on, oh great one with Sammy, the Nicholas Brothers and our mutual friend, Peg Leg Bates! We may never see the likes of such great masters of tap again!

  63. Pamela Bairnsfather

    I just watched White Nights again. Probably my 12th time. I almost could not get through it today. I still miss this wonderful, classy man who had so much soul.So much style that was all his own. He could do anything. It is rare that you see someone that has this kind of talent.And even with all of this talent he was so humble. Thank God for films. I would hate to have a new generation come into play and never know this man. He will continue to be an inspiration to mankind for ever.

  64. Paul Hermann

    I just watched White Nights three times this weekend and loved it more each time. Gregory Hines was great and it sad that such quality people exit this earth way too soon. Now MORE THAN EVER do we need people of his quality. Rest in Peace Gregory. WE ALL MISS YOU

  65. Lavonne Byrdsong

    I did not know that Gregory Hines passed away. I never had the plesure of meeting him personally. But it has truley been a blessing, to have been able to see the positive things that he brought to life. God Bless!!!!

  66. Charles H.

    My wife was watching the movie BoJangles w/ Gregory Hines and Kimberly Elise. When she informed me that G. H. had passed away some years ago. I don’t remember that I was aware of it. Reading some of the tributes of how good a dancer he was, I began to wonder if anyone remembered that he was also a pretty good singer.
    Do you remember the duet he did with Luther Vandross “There’s Nothing Better Than Love”? A beautiful piece.

  67. ola

    ok. this is how it goes. i just finished watching the animated movie Happy Feet and i really enjoyed it.it was a beautifully executed musical adaptation with thought provoking social undertones all through.not neccessarily “the greatest movie of all time”, but captivating enough to maintain a connection and maximize the conciousness attached to the movie’s dynamics.
    anyway before i put whoever may be reading this to sleep, after the movie, i further looked at castings and the crews curiously to really magnify my appreciation and positive critique of the the movie.i saw many names that brought a smile to my face,nicole kidman, hugh hackman, elijah woods, fat joe!,robin williams,just to mention a few.then i kept on searching.also i marveled at the number of animation techicians, matte painting,modelling,digital artistry,the research and developement and other intricaces,that are prerequisites not exclusively for this movie but most..however
    the movie is one that came from the makers of Babe!.it won an oscar for these efforts as the best animated feature film.in addition to this, the soundtrack of the movie equally is one that evoke a feeling of dejavu together with a somewhat attachment to abrasct aesthetics. in further ‘research’ of the movie , i found out that,the musician Prince was reluctant to grant aslightly altered version of “Kiss” but after being asked to see the visual thesis before deciding, he was so moved that he wrote another song which won a golden globe.all this!! nice.that is really cool i thought, and then i kept on searching.
    ok now, i think i may be deviating form the whole essence of my typing this very day. but alas my point.!in all this and a closer identification of/with the movie,i noticed the primary underlying yardstick for the socio-emotionalized pinpoint of the movie was tap dancing which was masterfully painted with an approach so relaxing and captivating thus resulting a strong natural affinity.it was the tool/medium used to relay whatever message whoever deemed fit to grasp.
    i then found out that motion-capture dancer for Mumble the lead character and subsequent pivots in the movie was Savion Glover. this now made sense as subconsiously whilst watching the movie. i was expecting to see his face on the penguins feet!!.this was very much so but realistically unlikely and somewhat a fib as i didnt even remember the name of the person whomthis movie was emiting blurry flashbacking to me.Savion Glover, i remember, yes remember, because i almost had forgotten about that black guy with the locks who to make my Sesame Street watching more enjoyable.also the guy i use to marvel at this man’s abitly to make music with his feet. i smiled to myself and silently thanked him for reviving some past memories. i had to keep on searching.
    then i thought, there is a supremo!another guy.
    a more applaudable guy i am forgetting..but no name came to head as i dont even remember when the law banning the use of tap dancing in any format of human existence was passed. .maybe it wasnt ever passed.maybe it just went into the oblivion to many including myself but treasured still by a minute number of people.why was i having this unecessary thoughts i ponder, but more conciously i kept on reading abou Savion Glover, hoping to catalyze memories and at the same time read about his achievements.
    then Alas!!in the wikipedia article trivia.the first thing i saw was that he studied under Gregory Hines!!!What!! i screamed in my head, a thousand lights flickered in my mind, a gust of wind blew away the piles of dust that have covered several powerful nostallgic feelings that for no apparent reason, now seemed like they could cure cancer at that very instance!
    it was like i had seen my lost lost primary school best friend who i played with and told my innermost fears secrets and desires and yet didnt keep in touch after school. the name gregory hines being repititve in my head, i let out a laughter. it my mental conversation with this 12 letter double phrase of a name, i rhetorically asked where have you been?!!i was here conversing with that very familiar feeling of knowing him yet extreme distance as result of lack of communication. the reply was equally distant though very warm and welcoming.i felt like someone who had abandoned his family and friends to ‘move on’never bothering to even send a postcard and at the end of the day not ideally being better off without.
    .that was the feeling i felt when i saw the name gregory hines.it looks to close to me yet very foreign and this brought a sense of guilt mixed with ignorance and unelightenment as i questioned what i really did with my free time..
    anyway as i subconciously continues my dialogue, with ‘my best mate and family’. i asked so how are things with you. the feeling of genuinely wishing so well for someone even if it overshadows your own persona or is in someway detrimental to you is how my emetions were sparking up. i really wanted to see sometihng like twice Oscar winner for something i most likely wont have seen as a result of my unintentional yet inexplicable departure from this great mans works.
    then i remebered him in waiting to exhale as a mysterious lovable cool calm man with an infectious smile.Tap, Rage in Harlem,Tap Dance in America…hmmmn.. i remember more now.but i thought.but then this man is a tap dancer renowned not actor in my head.
    .he surely must have done a lot till date and rewarded justly
    . then i kept on searching. and i saw. “Gregory Hines February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003”.
    this is 2007 march 7th. i feel stupid and empty. not because it is a matter of intellectual capability to be up to date with obituaries, but because its been 4yrs since my man Greg passsed on. And i am finding out today.specifically around 1500hrs GMT.
    i wish to apologize to who ever such is due to,be it in the physical,or in the meta.and also thank happy feet. its better later than never. thank you Gregory Hines. i need not tell you about how brilliant his works are or how his beautiful face and smile brings the calmness a melodious piano piece in summer evening will do.i wont go further, but this friend of mine is
    a wonderful inspiring dazzling fine man.and the effort in a delving research into the man and his work will be a mere percentile of the result you are bound to get.
    i dont kno but it is 1700 hrs and i havent moved from the spot i was when i started watching the movie happy feet.a thousands thoughts have also travelled between my ears and i have enjoyed the mental adventure i have gone through.i have finished searching.and the result of this expedition is to say Adieu Gregory.rest well and you will alway be loved.
    ola

  68. tha-kid

    Just finished watching the movie TAP and was touched by such an amazing talent, he was a talent that as a youngster I admired but never appreciated, and now that he’s gone I wish that I would have taken the chance to appreciate his fine works in plays and his movies. RIP Gregory Hines, you are deeply missed by all your fans. One Love.

  69. Betty Bender

    I was so very devastated to learn of Gregory Hines’ death at such a young age. Sad to think we didn’t even know he was fighting cancer. Every time I saw him, I remember watching him dance on Sesame Street. He made my kids want to learn tap (and some did) the way that Shirley Temple and Mr. Robinson made me want to as a kid. Then seeing him in movies, and then again on Will and Grace, I was reminded of what a very sexy and charismatic man he was. It is such a loss. Tonight I am watching Taps on television, and thinking about Gregory Hines. Thought I’d share that with you…

  70. Karin

    Ich bin so geschockt, gestern sah ich ein Video von Gregory Hines und Luther Vandross im TV – There’s Nothing Better Than Love. Auf der Suche nach dem Video habe ich heute gelesen, dass BEIDE nicht mehr leben. Ich bin so traurig, kann es gar nicht fassen. Ihr sollt beide in Frieden ruhen…..
    Karin, Österreich

  71. Sherry Callison

    Gregory Hines was captivating on stage and screen. He had that rare ability to be both sizziling, yet charming and extremely witty and laughable. I am searching frantically for anyone who knows which magazine printed an article which featured a series photos of him tap dancing. I think the pictures may have been black and white. Can anyone help? I purchased a copy but have misplace it. It was published not long after his death. I would appreciate any help.

  72. Jose

    My condolences to all his family and friends – he will be missed. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time…his dancing, singing and acting. I’m searching for the name of a movie in which I think he played a homeless person. I recall one line from the movie – “Let’s go now man, the hair is in the butter” – does anyone recall the movie title ??

  73. Mark

    I really miss Gregory Hines. He was a role model and inspiration to me. Here is hoping this talented, talented and wonderful person (I met him once and he was incredibly nice to me) is never forgotten. I also hope his self-titled TV show is released on DVD very soon!

  74. Ingrid

    I just watched him today in Waiting to Exhale and remember again how I miss him in films. He was a wonderful presence. I also remember seeing him dance.

  75. Johnsie W.

    I was and am a fan of Gregory Hines. I know it has been 4 years since he passed but I still thing of what an amazing talent he was. He could dance,sing and act. He was truly an amazing talent and I miss seeing him in movies and on TV.

  76. Grigori

    Well, it’s been awhile since his passing. I still can’t wrap my brain around it. I actually knew Greogry Hines personally. Well, let me start from here. My ex-girlfriend was hired by Gregory in his directorial debut, “Bleeding Hearts”(1994), which was actually titled “White Man’s Burden” originally. I remember the producer’s had to change the title due to the John Travolta film being released sooner. My ex played character Denise Shepard. You can rent the film on Netflix.com I was not only able to be in the film and meet and hang out with Mr Hines, but I then went to my first film festival ever in Toronto with Gregory Hines & Ruben Santiago-Hudson. I had the best time of my life. The parties! The after parties! Oh my God! I got to meet Gregory’s daughter also. I remember going out on the balcony and smoking a cigar with Gregory. Both our names are Gregory. So it was cool. He was such a cool human being. I miss his smile and his jokes. I got to meet his father also, Mr Maurice Hines Sr., I didn’t know who the man was because he played a homeless guy in the film. I remember him telling me about his life in Las Vegas where he lived. I cherish that time in Toronto! I was pretty ripped up when I heard the news of his death. I couldn’t believe the story. So many times you hear rumors of celebrities dying on the internet etc., I was hoping this was a cruel joke…Thanks for ALL the memories Gregory! R.I.P!

  77. Frank

    Just got through watching Waiting to Exhale, and I still can’t believe that Gregory Hines is gone. What an amazing man and his talent as an actor clearly came through the movie. He clearly lived for the moments in his life and he left a legacy to be remembered. RIP Gregory

  78. CHUNTER

    TO THE HINES FAMILY,
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU WITH CONTINUE STRENGTH, WE KNOW GREGORY’S TAPPING IN THE HIGH HEAVENS. AND HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON FOREVER………..

  79. Ms. E. Sarge of NYC

    What can I say about Gregory Hines, except that he was such a phenomenal talent! What a full life he lived! Had he only lived longer, he would have certainly been up to something new now.
    Aside from having been such a hard-working man, Mr. Hines was sooooooooooo sexy! His body was beautiful from head to toe. He also naturally projected such a calming, understated (yet CONFIDENT) demeanor that made many women wonder (myself included) how great a lover he could be. I envy Suzanne Douglas in “Tap” to this day because Mr. Hines knew his craft, and showed it well (especially in their love scene together – Boy, could that man hold and kiss a woman!). God, if I could have been Ms. Douglas at THAT moment in the film!
    I remember Mr. Hines having visited one of my high school classes in the late 1980’s. He was so warm, friendly, clean and unaffected by his success. He was so nice to us.
    I thank God for actually having met Mr. Hines. He truly was a great man, more than a triple-threat in entertainment – a REAL man.
    Thank you for setting up this forum for the late Gregory Hines. He will truly be missed even more as many others come to appreciate the legacy he left us.

  80. sharon p roberts

    How can I articulate the emptiness I feel when I think of the passing of such a great talent? This man, Gregory Hines, was blessed by God with so many wonderful gifts. Gifts that do not have to be repeated or listed. All you had to do was to see him smile, speak, perform etc. and you knew immediately that this man was one of whom the black race could be proud. Time passes on, but he is and was a momentously talented man who will be greatly missed.

  81. Mike L.

    When I knew Greg, he was the lead singer and musician in a band called Severance in Venice, California. Severance was one of the house bands in an original music club called Honky Hoagies Handy Hangout, otherwise known as the 4H Club. I was in another house band, and had the pleasure of seeing him often. Greg had one of the most beautiful mellow voices, and a stage presence that made you want to be his friend. I did not know him as a “star” but rather just a nice guy who happened to be extremely gifted. Several years have passed, but I think of him often. Rest in peace.

  82. Simeko Revador

    Ode to Gregory Hines
    Tap Tap, Tap Tap It’s Me
    Yes I’m the one called Gregory
    It’s a new time, yes a new day
    For Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson paved the way
    Hats off to you Mister Hines
    For you have left many pleasant memories behind
    Extraordinary dancer, award winning actor, such a tough act to follow
    An inspiring offspring of the Harlem Apollo
    57 years young, was your job here done?
    For the Lord called you home, now you’re tapping around his throne
    Gone to meet Bojangles, Sammy, and Sandman Simms
    Now you guys are tapping to heaven’s hymns
    Man diagnosis classified your cause of death as cancer
    I feel the Lord said enough suffering Gregory, come home I have the answer
    Forever missed
    Simeko Revador
    Author/ Poet
    http://www.xlibris.com/SimekoRevador.html
    Books: God Is Just A Prayer Away
    Don’t Drive Your Mama Away
    Upcoming: Mommy Daddy Touched Me, Shhhhh
    email: http://www.god_is_just_a_prayer_away@yahoo.com
    http://www.myspace.com/simekorevador
    Jesus lives

  83. Will

    He IS amazing ,now he`s just somewhere else , i know that some day we’re gonna have the chance to see him again! Thanks for your talent Gregory.

  84. pat schwaller

    Gregory Hines — I first noticed him in White Nights – such a talent and like everyone else who has written a tribute to this man, he had a special way of moving people. Today, my daughter was telling me that my grandson was reminding her of “Happy Feet”, so she put on an old Hines film and he said, “I want to be like him”. So you see – his talent is not forgotten and will continue to be an inspiration to others. My grandson is only 5.

  85. sylvia

    Gregory Hines is one of the greatest tap dancers ever in history, there will never be another that can ever take his place, He smile was so peaceful, he will be greatly missed. we love you Gregory.

  86. blueishbutton

    Have always loved Gregory Hines and knew of his death. Just watched a movie he was in just today. It was called RED SHOES.
    Have seen him tap dance with Sammy Davis Jr. and have seen many movies with him in it. LIke HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART ONE by Mel Brooks.
    May you rest in peace….

  87. Dave McLeod

    We are now getting close to the 6th anniversary of the passing of the Great Gregory Hines. I still can’t believe it. I met him back in the mid 80’s near Christopher Street in the Village.(that’s New York for you guy’s on the west coast).He was standing on the corner talking to some guy and he was wearing sweats. I found out later that the dance studio was actually a few doors down. Anyway, people would tell me at least 3 times a day how much I looked like him. I was hearing it before I ever heard of him. Anyway, my girlfriend at the time spots him first and goes bananas! She starts telling him how people tell me I look like him, and what a great performer he is,and then takes off running to the nearest store for a pen to get his autograph! She leaves the 2 of us just standing there on the corner! Now there is no way I am going to hold this man up from doing what he needs to do while she is running around for a pen. I apologized for her behavior,and he just laughed and said “how about a handshake instead,it’s more personal”.This guy was the most classy unselfish famous guy I ever met. He even kissed my girlfriend on the hand when she came running back. I don’t think she washed her hand for a week (lol)! What is even more amazing, is that I went to a fund raiser in the mid 90’s called A Taste of New York at the World Trade Center funded by the NAACP and I ran into him again and he actually spotted me and remembered me! He still thought it was pretty funny. Of course I followed his career after that first encounter and was totally shocked when I heard of his passing. He will truly be missed by friends,family,and anyone he encountered during his short stay with us. This multi talented man will NEVER be replaced. May he rest in peace.

  88. barbara meagher

    Gregory Hines was buried at Saint Volodymyr’s Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Oakville, Ontario, in Canada.
    Why here, as opposed to NYC or LA?

  89. Denny Sangiovanni

    I always remember him. Big smile, kind personality. He always will live thru the magic of his personality on his movies. What a lost.

  90. Miballs

    I knew of his death at the time, don’t you people read the papers? guess not. Anyway, I met Greg years back when he was touring with Hines, Hines and Dad. He was a very nice person and I spent a few hours with them between shows that evening. I wish it was me who passed and not he. Every man is filled with imperfections and I am sure Greg was far from perfect, but what a shining light to all of us was his visage. Show business has a way of destroying marriages and our physical being, sad but true. And throw being a minority into the mix, it is a tuff road to huff and even the strong ones give out eventually.

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