Chita Rivera Biography: Wiki, Age, Birthday, Career, Cause Of Death, Awards, Husband, Children And More

Chita Rivera Biography

Chita Rivera was an American actress, singer, and dancer who starred in many Broadway musicals, such as West Side Story, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

She was a trailblazer for other Latinas aspiring to the Broadway stage, and she received numerous awards, including two Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She passed away on January 30, 2024, at the age of 91.

Chita Rivera Early Life And Education

Chita Rivera was born on January 23, 1933 in Washington, D.C. as Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero. Her father was a Puerto Rican musician and her mother was a government clerk of Scottish, Irish, and African-American descent.

She started taking ballet classes at the age of seven and won a scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York City when she was 15. She made her Broadway debut as a dancer in Guys and Dolls in 1950.


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Chita Rivera Career And Awards

Chita Rivera Biography

Chita Rivera had a long and illustrious career as an actress, singer, and dancer on Broadway, film, and television. She originated some of the most iconic roles in musical theatre, such as Anita in West Side Story, Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

She won two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, and a Drama League Award, among many other honors. She was also the first Latina and the first Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honor and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She made her Broadway debut as a dancer in Guys and Dolls in 1950. She starred as Anita in the original Broadway production of West Side Story in 1957, earning her first Tony nomination.


She played the role of Rose in Bye Bye Birdie in 1960, receiving another Tony nomination. She also acted in the film version of Sweet Charity in 1969, alongside Shirley MacLaine.

She portrayed Velma Kelly in the original Broadway production of Chicago in 1975, garnering her third Tony nomination.  She won her first Tony Award for her performance as Anna in The Rink in 1984, opposite Liza Minnelli.

She won her second Tony Award for her portrayal of Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993, a role that was written for her by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb.

She was nominated for four more Tony Awards for her roles in Jerry’s Girls (1986), Nine (2003), Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (2005), and The Visit (2015). She published her autobiography, Chita: A Memoir, in 2023.

Chita Rivera Personal Life

Chita Rivera Biography


Chita Rivera married Tony Mordente, a fellow dancer from West Side Story, on December 1, 1957. They had one daughter, Lisa Mordente, who also became an actress and singer. Rivera and Mordente divorced in 1966.


Chita Rivera Biography

Rivera never remarried, but she had a long-term relationship with the composer John Kander, who wrote many of the musicals she starred in.

Chita Rivera Net Worth

Chita Rivera’s net worth was estimated to be around $2 million at the time of her death. This reflects her successful and long-lasting career in the entertainment industry, especially on Broadway, where she originated many iconic roles and won numerous awards.

Chita Rivera’s Date and cause of Death

Chita Rivera, a Broadway legend and icon, died peacefully in New York on January 30, 2024, after a brief illness. She was 91 years old. The exact cause of her death was not disclosed. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa Mordente, and her grandchildren.

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