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Jennifer Hudson leads the tributes as Dreamgirls co-star Hinton Battle dies aged 67

The Wiz actor passed away at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles


Jennifer Hudson leads the tributes as Dreamgirls co-star Hinton Battle dies aged 67
Faye James
Senior Editor
31 January 2024
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The entertainment world mourns the loss of Hinton Battle, a prodigious talent whose footprints on Broadway and beyond have left an indelible mark. 

At the age of 67, the revered actor and singer passed away at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

His death was confirmed by his representative, who stated that Hinton's family has chosen not to disclose the cause of his passing at this time.

Hinton was celebrated for his electrifying original portrayal of the Scarecrow in the Broadway production of The Wiz in 1975, a role that would later be famously reprised by Michael Jackson in the movie adaptation. 

Hinton Battle dies aged 67 © Jamie McCarthy
Hinton Battle dies aged 67

His diverse talents continued to shine across various platforms, including his memorable performance as Wayne in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls, which featured powerhouse talents like Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson.

Jennifer Hudson, Hinton's Dreamgirls co-star, offered heartfelt homage to the late performer. On the social platform X, she shared her sorrow and admiration: 

"We lost two irreplaceable Broadway icons this week. Chita Rivera and Hinton Battle! I’ll always be grateful for their unique artistry and impact and the way our lives intersected! Rest well, legends!"

Hinton Battle was a famed singer and actor© Keith Tsuji
Hinton Battle was a famed singer and actor

Hinton's contributions to the arts earned him prestigious nods, including SAG and Critics' Choice nominations for his role in Dreamgirls.

However, his accolades did not begin nor end there; he was a three-time Tony Award winner in the featured actor in a musical category. 

Actor Hinton Battle poses backstage © Noam Galai
Actor Hinton Battle poses backstage

His performances in Sophisticated Ladies (1981), The Tap Dance Kid (1984), and Miss Saigon (1991) each garnered him the esteemed Tony recognition, solidifying his status as a Broadway luminary.

His talents also graced the small screen, perhaps most notably in a musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 2001. 

Hinton not only performed as the suave demon Sweet in the episode Once More, With Feeling but also lent his expertise as the choreographer, infusing the show with his distinctive flair.

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