DWTS 14: Gregory Hines and ‘White Nights’
You might be asking who was Gregory Hines after both Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli compared Jaleel White to Hines after White and his partner Kym Johnson performed a smooth foxtrot.
I met Hines backstage when I saw him perform “Jelly’s Last Jam” and I saw him give a talk at the Pasadena Playhouse. I wish I had brought a camera, but I remember how he gave us some quick steps down the stage and then relaxed into his chair. He was humble. He was great. If only someone had found him a home on TV.
Gregory Oliver Hines was born in NYC on Valentine’s Day in 1946, but he died in Los Angeles (9 August 2003) when he was just 57. According to Wikipedia, he was the lead singer in a rock band called Severance in Venice, CA. He sang with Luther Vandross for a number one hit, “There’s Nothing Better Than Love.”
Before that, he was on Broadway, first in 1954 with his brother. In 1979, he earned a Tony nomination for “Eubie!” in 1979 and then again in “Comin’ Uptown” in 1980 and “Sophisticated Ladies” in 1981. He finally won a Tony for “Jelly’s Last Jam” in 1992.
“White Nights” was a dance lovers’ dream: the odd pairing of Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The story of this 1985 movie was a Soviet ballet dancer has a forced landing in Siberia. He had defected years before and now the Soviets attempt to detain him. The KGB officer brings along a tap dancer who defected from the U.S. to the Soviet Union into the mix. The tap dancer played by Hines, is to keep the ballet dancer company. And the tap dancer and his wife attempt to help the ballet dancer escape.
Hines was also in:
- History of the World, Part I (1981)
- Wolfen (1981)
- Deal of the Century (1983)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
- The Cotton Club (1984)
- White Nights (1985)
- Faerie Tale Theatre: “Puss in Boots” (1985)
- Running Scared (1986)
- Off Limits (1988)
- Tap (1989)
- Eve of Destruction (1991)
- A Rage in Harlem (1991)
- Renaissance Man (1994)
- Waiting to Exhale (1995)
- The Cherokee Kid (1996)
- Good Luck (1996)
- Mad Dog Time (1996)
- The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
- The Tic Code (1999)
- Little Bill (TV) (1999–2003, until his death)
- Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000)
- Once in the Life (2000)
- Will & Grace (TV) (2000)
- Bojangles (2001)
- The Red Sneakers (TV) (2002)
- Law & Order: (TV) “Suicide Box” (2003)
- Lost at Home: (TV) (2003)
In 1997, Hines starred in “The Gregory Hines Show” on CBS which lasted only one season with 15 episodes aired (out of 22). In 2000, Hines was a recurring character in the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace” and played one of Grace’s love interests during season 3.