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Actress-dancer Ann Reinking (1949-2020)


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Ann Reinking, the award-winning actress, dancer and choreographer who became Bob Fosse's muse after Gwen Verdon, has died at the age of 71. According to her manager, Lee Gross, she died Saturday while visiting family in Seattle. No cause of death was announced.

“The world and our family have lost a vibrant, amazing talent and beautiful soul,” Reinking’s sister-in-law Dahrla King told Variety in a statement from the family. “Ann was the heart of our family and the life of the party. She was visiting our brother in Washington state when she went to sleep and never woke up. We will miss her more than we can say. Heaven has the best choreographer available now. I’m sure they are dancing up a storm up there! Annie, we will love and miss you always!!!”

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In 1976, Reinking made a guest appearance with series star Jim Hutton in "The Adventure of the Eccentric Engineer," an episode of NBC's short-lived mystery program "Ellery Queen." She played a budding romance writer named  Lorelie Farnsworth. 

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Reinking, Leland Palmer and the teen actress Erzsébet Földi memorably performed a dance routine to "There'll Be Some Changes Made" in director Fosse's "All That Jazz!" The 1979 film, which starred Roy Scheider as a fictionalized version of Fosse, earned nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. It won for Best Original Score (Adaptation/Song Score) and Best Art Direction.

Reinking's performance of "We've Got Annie" was a highlight from the 1982 film version of the Broadway hit "Annie." Directed by John Huston, the musical production also starred Albert Finney,  Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, Edward Herrmann and Aileen Quinn as the title character.

In 1984, Reinking co-starred with Dudley Moore and Amy Irving in Blake Edwards' romantic comedy "Micki and Maude" (she played Micki). The film was about a television reporter (Moore) and his complicated relationship with two women.

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At the 51st annual Tony Awards on June 1, 1997, Reinking won the best choreography prize for the musical "Chicago." It was her second win in the category. 

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In the 2019 FX miniseries  “Fosse/Verdon,” Reinking was portrayed by Margaret Qualley -- daughter of the actress Andie MacDowell. “It’s the first time I’ve played a real person — and I’m playing one of my heroes,” said Qualley, who as a child trained as a ballet dancer. 

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She had electric star presence. Right from the first time I saw her, I knew how special she was, and so did everyone else in the Shubert Theatre. It's so sad to have to say goodbye to the great Ann Reinking.
 
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So grateful I got to see Ann Reinking dance in the revival of Chicago. One of the most mesmerizing people I’ve ever seen on stage. A singular genius. RIP.
 
 

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Seeing the great Ann Reinking on stage as Roxie opposite Bebe Neuwirth as Velma in the Broadway revival of Chicago was an indelible experience for me. Watch All That Jazz tonight and tip your hat--few could do it more gracefully--to an all-timer. RIP.
 
 
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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this clip from ANNIE, i had forgotten what a SEMINAL MOMENT in my little gay childhood it was seeing this! (stereotypes and all!)

You should see all the tweets from Reinking fans who admit they watched "Annie" over and over again because of her performance.

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5 minutes ago, jakeem said:

You should see all the tweets from Reinking fans who admit they watched "Annie" over and over again because of her performance.

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It's one of the best acted bad movies there is.

I'm sorry if that seems like a dig at the cast- it's most definitely not. Almost everyone in it is sensational (REINKING, CAROL BURNETT, TIM CURRY, BERNADETTE PETERS), but the music, the tedium, the RELENTLESS CHEESE- it's such a 50-50 between how good (almost) everyone is and how bad everything else is.

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3 hours ago, Hibi said:

Yes, I knew that. I was wondering what caused it, or if it was natural causes.

 

3 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

No cause was given and I respect the family's privacy.  Seventy-one is too young.  She was extremely talented and had legs that went on forever.  I saw a version of Fosse, which she and Gwen Verdon (ex-Mrs. Fosse) collaborated on.  The only movie I remember her in was All That Jazz.

Then I'm sorry.

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3 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

No cause was given and I respect the family's privacy.  Seventy-one is too young.  She was extremely talented and had legs that went on forever.  I saw a version of Fosse, which she and Gwen Verdon (ex-Mrs. Fosse) collaborated on.  The only movie I remember her in was All That Jazz.

DANCING is a hard life.

I would also not be surprised if she smoked. or lived hard. she certainly put her ALL into whatever she did, and that alone WEARS ON ANYONE physically and emotionally OVER TIME, no matter what their profession

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I was shocked when I heard about this earlier today. I never had the chance to see her on Broadway, and she didn't make many films, but I saw all four of them, and the Ellery Queen episode. She was robbed of an Oscar nomination for All That Jazz, where she gave a very touching performance. Onscreen, she was never less than graceful, intelligent, glamourous, and extremely sexy (I still remember how in Movie Movie, even when saddled with a Marlene Dietrich-esque dandelion puffball wig for her big scene, she still was scorching the screen, and the reaction shots of Harry Hamlin saw the eyes almost popping out of his head at her). She had fine comic timing, and she was a brilliant dancer. She will be missed.

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And in case you haven't seen it, or haven't seen it in a long time, the delightful Movie Movie (a 30s movie homage/spoof directed by Stanley Donen, with the first half in black and white, and featuring a cast that in addition to the already mentioned Reinking and Hamlin also features George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Red Buttons, Kathleen Beller, Barry Bostwick, Rebecca York,  Barbara Harris, Art Carney, Eli Wallach, and George Burns) is streaming ad-free on Amazon Prime, and with ads absolutely free on Tubi. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B07FK5DL1F/ref=atv_dl_rdr?tag=justusqxg9-20

https://tubitv.com/movies/465058?utm_source=justwatch-feed&tracking=justwatch-feed

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2 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Has TCM ever shown Movie, Movie? I seem to remember it was scheduled and then pulled? I've always wanted to see that. Missed it when it came out (played out quickly)

Doesn't look like it has ever aired on TCM, which is a real pity because it would fit the TCM brand perfectly. Its such great fun to see, so I'm at least glad that it is up on streaming for people to see.

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I know! Would be a perfect film to show. Don't know what the hang up is. Is it Universal or Paramount? I seem to remember it WAS scheduled once, but it got pulled. Maybe someone else knows for sure.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I know! Would be a perfect film to show. Don't know what the hang up is. Is it Universal or Paramount? I seem to remember it WAS scheduled once, but it got pulled. Maybe someone else knows for sure.

It was financed by Lord Lew Grade through his ITC entertainment company (and was originally distributed by Warner Bros.). A short-lived company, many of their films are now owned by either British TV channel ITV or by StudioCanal. They don't often turn up on TCM (not even the big ones like Voyage of the Damned, On Golden Pond, Sophie's Choice, and Tender Mercies), although some have popped up on HBO in recent years.

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