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Tony Mordente: “West Side Story” star dies at 88

Tony Mordente: “West Side Story” star dies at 88
Tony Mordente: “West Side Story” star dies at 88

Tony Mordente played on Broadway and in the original film version of “West Side Story.” He has now died at the age of 88.

Great sadness for Tony Mordente (1935-2024). The actor, dancer and choreographer, who appeared in the Broadway and original film versions of “West Side Story,” has died at the age of 88. This was confirmed by his daughter, actress Lisa Mordente (1958), to . The family’s obituary states that Mordente, who last lived in Henderson, Nevada, died on Tuesday, June 11th.

“West Side Story” made him famous

Tony Mordente played the role of A-Rab in “West Side Story,” which premiered on Broadway in September 1957. In the 1961 film adaptation, he then got the role of Action, another member of the Jets gang. The American originally came to Broadway through his scholarship to the American Ballet Theater School in New York City. There he was discovered by the famous choreographer Michael Kidd (1915-2007), who cast him in the piece “Li’l Abner.”

Mordente then worked as a choreographer and assistant on Broadway. In 1974 he began working in television: as a director he worked on numerous series, including “Rhoda” and “Texas Ranger”.

“West Side Story” brought Tony Mordente not only professional success, but also love. On Broadway he met Chita Rivera (1933-2024), who also died that year, who played Anita. They married in 1957 and had their daughter Lisa a year later. After the divorce in 1966, he remarried and had another daughter.

Source: Stern

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