'Dreamgirls' actor Hinton Battle has died.
The mutliple Tony award-winning actor - who originated the role of The Scarecrow in 'The Wiz' on Broadway - passed away on Tuesday (30.01.24) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles at the age of 67.
A representative for his family said he died after a long illness, but they would not be disclosing the specific cause of death.
Jennifer Hudson, Hinton's co-star in 'Dreamgirls' - in which he played Wayne, Rainbow Records' first producer - has paid tribute to the "Broadway icon".
Also honouring Chita Rivera, another stage veteran who passed away this week, she wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “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!”
Stephanie Mills, who starred opposite Hinton as Dorothy in 'The Wiz' paid tribute to her "dear Scarecrow".
She wrote on her social media pages: “My Dear Scarecrow, Mr Hinton Battle, words cannot express how I feel.
"You’ve joined the heavenly cast. I will miss you forever. I loved you then, now, and forever.
“Rest babe, job well done. Until we meet again.”
Hinton was a trained ballet dancer who made his Broadway debut in 'The Wiz' in January 1975. He originally auditioned for a position in the chorus but stepped in to replace Stu Gilliam after he fell sick during a pre-Broadway tryout.
He went on to win Tony Awards for Featured Actor in a Musical for 'Sophisticated Ladies' (1981), 'The Tap Dance Kid' (1984) and 1991's 'Miss Saigon', with no other performer winning that gong more times.
The Tony Awards shared a video of his 1981 acceptance speech in a tribute.
They captioned the clip: “In loving memory of iconic Tony Winner, Hinton Battle. His unparalleled talent and infectious energy will be deeply missed, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were touched by his brilliance.”
In addition, Hinton - who is survived by sisters Eddie and Lettie - was nominated for SAG and Critics Choice awards for his work in 'Dreamgirls'.