Chita Rivera ObituaryChita Rivera Obituary

Renowned for her vibrant personality and remarkable physical prowess, Chita Rivera, who passed away at the age of 91, etched her legacy by originating the role of Anita in West Side Story in 1957. Serving as Maria’s confidante in what is widely regarded as the finest musical of the 20th century, Rivera left an indelible mark with her electrifying performance in the ensemble dance number “America.”

This captivating musical piece poignantly expressed the aspirations of minority groups, while her harmonious contributions in “Tonight” and “I Have a Love” added to the musical’s allure.

Who was Chita Rivera: A Brief Profile

Full Name: Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson, also known as Chita Rivera.
Chita Rivera Age & Date of Birth: January 23, 1933, in Washington, D.C., United States.
Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., United States.
Date of Death: January 30, 2024, at the age of 91 in New York.
Chita Rivera Cause of Death: Rivera succumbed to a “short illness,” according to her daughter, Lisa Mordente.

Early Life and Education

Born in Washington, D.C., Rivera was one of five children of Pedro Figueroa del Rivero, a Puerto Rican clarinetist in the U.S. Navy band, and Katherine (nee Anderson), a government official. Chita won a scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York, where she also attended William Howard Taft High School.

Graduating in 1951, she embarked on her career, initially touring as a principal dancer in Irving Berlin’s “Call Me Madam” before making her Broadway debut in “Guys and Dolls” in 1953.

Career Highlights

Rivera’s career blossomed as she showcased her talents in various productions, both on and off Broadway. Noteworthy performances included her role in the West End premiere of West Side Story (1958), her return to Her Majesty’s in 1961 for “Bye Bye Birdie,” and her sensational portrayal of Aurora in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” at the Shaftesbury in 1992.

Triumphs and Challenges

Despite the success of West Side Story, Rivera faced setbacks, such as the Anita role going to Rita Moreno in the 1961 film adaptation. She persevered through road revivals and various Broadway productions, demonstrating resilience and skill. A car accident during “Jerry’s Girls” in 1985 tested her tenacity, resulting in a remarkable recovery.

Later Achievements and Recognition

Rivera made a triumphant comeback with “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” followed by performances in a Broadway revival of “Nine” in 2003 and her solo show, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life” in 2005. Over her more than 60-year career, she received accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Personal Life: Chita Rivera Family

In 1957, Rivera married fellow West Side Story dancer Tony Mordente i.e. Chita Rivera’s husband, with whom she had a daughter, Lisa. The couple divorced in 1966.

Legacy and Tributes

Chita Rivera’s impact on Broadway was immeasurable, earning her the title of a “trailblazer” by Lin-Manuel Miranda and accolades from Andrew Lloyd Webber. Fellow actors and performers, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jason Alexander, expressed their admiration for Rivera’s unmatched spirit and contributions to the theater.

Chita Rivera Funeral

Chita Rivera’s funeral will be a private affair, with plans for a memorial service to be announced. The family has requested privacy during this time.

Chita Rivera Net Worth

As we reflect on the recent loss of Chita Rivera, it becomes intriguing to delve into the financial dimension of her remarkable career. According to multiple sources, the estimated net worth of Chita Rivera is an impressive $2 million.

This substantial sum stands as a testament to her enduring prosperity in the realm of entertainment, with a particular emphasis on her groundbreaking contributions to Broadway. Rivera’s wealth is more than just a gauge of her artistic prowess; it is a tangible outcome of her adeptness in establishing a distinctive presence for herself in the fiercely competitive landscape of show business.

Check also, Jesse Jane’s Obituary, Adult Film Star Dies at Age 43

By Peter Snee

Peter Snee serves as a journalist at the obituaries desk of, having joined the team in 2024. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Peter specializes in covering the life stories of individuals who have left a lasting mark on their respective fields, cities, or countries. His reporting spans a diverse range of personalities, from prominent big-game hunters and solo sailors to fallen dictators, Olympic champions, and even the innovator behind the Hawaiian pizza. Before assuming his current position, Peter contributed his journalistic expertise to renowned newspapers and magazines. His career highlights a wealth of experience, reflecting his versatility in capturing the essence of remarkable lives in the realm of journalism.

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