Family & Companions
This black, often mustachioed, tap dancer extraordinaire of exceptional charm made his professional debut at the age of five with his brother Maurice and was appearing on Broadway three years later. Gregory Hines was nominated for Tony Awards three years in a row for his work on Broadway in the musical revue "Eubie!" (1979, as Eubie Blake), for "Comin' Uptown" (1980) a black retelling of "A Christmas Carol" set in Harlem, and "Sophisticated Ladies" (1981), a revue of Duke Ellington songs. He finally took home the coveted prize in 1993 for his star turn as jazz great 'Jelly Roll' Morton in the stage musical "Jelly's Last Jam."
In the 1980s, Hines began landing roles that exploited both his dancing and dramatic abilities. His more notable feature credits include Francis Ford Coppola's "The Cotton Club" (1984), "White Nights" (1985), "Tap" (1989) and "A Rage in Harlem" (1991). For the most part, Hines was employed in these films as a debonair presence. He was more successful amidst the confusion of "The Cotton Club" than as an American communist within the anti-Soviet dullness of "White Nights." In the winningly cartoonish "A Rage in Harlem," Hines managed to inject lithe elegance into the thinly-scripted role of a 1950s criminal named Goldy.
Hines followed his award-winning Broadway success with "Renaissance Man" (1994), playing against type as an uncultured career Army officer opposite Danny De Vito's idealistic professor. That same year, he stepped behind the cameras to helm "Bleeding Hearts," an earnest look at an interracial romance that made the festival circuit. He subsequently appeared as Loretta Divine's love interest in "Waiting to Exhale" (1995) before tackling the nominal villain of "The Preacher's Wife" (1996), a real estate developer who wants to tear down the church and build condominiums. Hines had one of his best screen roles as a jazz musician afflicted with Tourette Syndrome in "The Tic Code" (1998). In 2000, he demonstrates his suaveness as Holly Hunter's married lover in the festival-screened "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her" (aired on Showtime in 2001) but seemed miscast as a drug dealer's henchman in "Once in the Life."
While he had appeared in numerous variety specials and awards shows (picking up Emmy nods in 1982 and 1985), Hines had passed up many opportunities to topline his own TV series. Finally relenting, he agreed to star in the CBS sitcom "The Gregory Hines Show" (1997-98), in which he portrayed a widower struggling to raise a teenage son. The show, however, earned mixed reviews and struggled to find an audience. The performer fared somewhat better with his 1999-2000 recurring role on the highly-rated NBC sitcom "Will and Grace," as the lawyer boss of the former who had a brief romance with the latter. Also in 1999, Hines won a Daytime Emmy Award for his voice performance as Big Bill in Bill Cosby's animated TV series "Little Bill" (Nickolodeon, 1999-2002). Hines next had a starring role as a Spin magazine editor in the fact-based 2000 Showtime production "Who Killed Atlanta's Children?"
Fulfilling a dream, the dancer got to portray one of his idols in "Bojangles" (Showtime, 2001), a biopic of the great dancer Bill Robinson, for which he garnered a richly deserved Emmy nomination. Continuing his association with the network, Hines made his small screen directorial debut with "The Red Sneakers" (Showtime, 2001), a family drama about a high school student who is transformed by the titular footwear into a successful basketball player. Hines appeared as workaholic Mitch Rouse's best friend and boss in the short-lived TV series "Lost at Home" (ABC, 2003) and had future film roles scheduled until he succumbed to cancer at the early age of 57.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Dance (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Nightclub debut at with brother Maurice as Hines Kids (renamed Hines Brothers as teenagers 1955-1963)
Broadway debut, "The Girl in the Pink Tights" at age eight
Father, Maurice Hines Sr. joined touring act; renamed Hines, Hines and Dad
Ended act with brother; moved to Venice California and formed jazz-rock band, Severance, in 1974
Had featured role in the stage musical "Eubie!", a tribute to composer Eubie Blake; reprised role in taped version of show in 1981; earned 1979 Tony nomination as featured actor in a musical
Starred in "Comin' Uptown", a black-themed stage musical retelling of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"; earned first Tony nomination as lead actor
Made film debut in Mel Brooks's "History of the World, Part I"
Appeared on Broadway in "Sophisticated Ladies", a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington; picked up third career Tony nod; toured with show in 1982
Received first Emmy Award nomination for performance in the ABC variety special "I Love Liberty"
Had co-starring role in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Cotton Club"
Teamed onscreen with Mikhael Baryshnikov in the spy thriller "White Nights"
Picked up second Emmy nod for appearance in the NBC variety special "Motown Returns to the Apollo"
Co-starred with Billy Crystal as wisecracking Chicago cops in "Running Scared"
First solo record album, "Gregory Hines"
Starred in the film "Tap"
Appeared as Feste the clown in the summer production of "Twelfth Night" staged by the New York Shakespeare Festival
Hosted the PBS "Great Performances" segment "Gregory Hines' Tap Dance in America"
Portrayed Forest Whitaker's brother in "A Rage in Harlem"
Returned to the Broadway stage to star as 'Jelly Roll' Morton in the musical drama, "Jelly's Last Jam"; received Tony Award as Lead Actor in a Musical
Feature directorial debut, "Bleeding Hearts"
Co-starred "Waiting to Exhale"
Had supporting role in "The Preacher's Wife"
Portrayed a jazz musician with Tourette's syndrome in "The Tic Code"; released theatrically in 2000
Joined cast of NBC's "Will & Grace" in a recurring role
Cast as Holly Hunter's married lover in "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her"; premiered at Sundance; aired on Showtime in 2001 in lieu of a theatrical release
Starred opposite Jim Belushi in Showtime's "Who Killed Atlanta's Children?"
Portrayed dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson in the Showtime biopic "Bojangles"; also executive produced; garnered Emmy nomination
Directed and acted in the Showtime original "Red Sneakers"