'Annie' star and Broadway icon Ann Reinking dies at 71

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Ann Reinking and Albert Finney during the filming of 'Annie' on location at Radio City Music Hall on May 1, 1982 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
Ann Reinking and Albert Finney during the filming of 'Annie' in 1982 in New York (Credit: Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)

Ann Reinking, Broadway legend and the star of movies like Annie and All That Jazz, has died at the age of 71.

According to her manager, she died last weekend while visiting with family in Seattle.

Paying tribute to her, West Side Story star Chita Rivera said: “I'm beyond words to hear of the sudden and untimely passing of my dear friend Ann Reinking. The world has lost such a beautiful soul and talent.

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“We met during the original CHICAGO and remained close friends to this day. Just the other day I received my annual holiday Poinsettia from her! I loved sharing the stage with her whenever we could. Her spirit and razzle-dazzle will be with me forever.”

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda added: “A singular talent has left us.”

Born in Seattle in 1949, she studied ballet as a child, performing with the English Royal Ballet aged 12.

Moving to New York at 18, she made her Broadway debut the following year in Cabaret, and while performing in Pippin, she met the legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, which whom she sparked both a professional and romantic relationship.

She went on to shows like Coco, opposite Katharine Hepburn, A Chorus Line, and then immortalising Roxie Hart in Fosse's Broadway revival of Chicago in 1975.

NEW YORK CITY - JANUARY 26:  Actress Ann Reinking and director Bob Fosse attend Francis Ford Coppola Awards on January 26, 1975 at Sardi's Resaurant in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Ann Reinking and director Bob Fosse attend Francis Ford Coppola Awards on January 26, 1975l, in New York (Credit: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

On the screen, she starred in Fosse's semi-autobiographical movie All That Jazz, playing the role of Katie Jagger, a role based on her own relationship with Fosse.

Then in the 1982 movie of the musical Annie, directed by John Huston, she played the kindly Grace Farrell, secretary to Albert Finney's 'Daddy' Warbucks, performing the number I Think I'm Going To Like It Here with the young Aileen Quinn, who played Annie.

She also starred in the 1984 Blake Edwards comedy Micki & Maude with Dudley Moore.

NYU SKIRBALL CENTER, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/10/01: Ann Reinking & Chita Rivera attends Bright Lights Shinning Stars Gala 2017 honors Ann Reinking at NYU Skirball Center. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Ann Reinking and Chita Rivera (Credit: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Reinking won a Tony award for her choreography in the second revival of Chicago in 1996, and then an Olivier award in 2000 for the West End production of Fosse.

She is survived by her husband Peter Talbert and son Christopher.

Watch: Ann Reinking dies at 71