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Gregory Hines Dies of Cancer at 57

August 10, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tony Award winner Gregory Hines, the tap-dancing actor who started on Broadway and in movies including ``White Nights″ and ``Running Scared,″ has died, his publicist says. He was 57.

Hines died Saturday in Los Angeles of cancer, publicist Allen Eichorn said.

Hines became internationally known as part of a jazz tap due with his brother, Maurice, and the two danced together in the musical revue ``Eubie!″ in 1978. The brothers later danced together in Broadway’s ``Sophisticated Ladies,″ and on film in ``The Cotton Club″ in 1984.

He later starred in a sitcom, ``The Gregory Hines Show,″ in 1997, and had a recurring role on ``Will and Grace.″

Gregory Oliver Hines was born on February 14, 1946, in New York City. His mother urged him and his older brother toward tap dancing, Gregory Hines said, because she wanted them to have a way out of the ghetto.

When he was a toddler, Maurice Hines, who was already taking tap lessons, would come home and teach him steps.

The brothers began performing together when Gregory Hines was five, and they performed at the Apollo for two weeks when he was six. In 1974 they were cast in the Broadway musical ``The Girl in Pink Tights,″ starring French ballerina Jeanmaire.

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