We are learning more about what caused the death of the beloved Chita Rivera.
Broadway lovers were heartbroken to hear of the passing of Chita Rivera on Tuesday, January 30.
A beloved star of the stage and screen, Chita was one of the most celebrated Latina performers of her generation.
Her passing has brought “immense” to those who knew her best.
Chita Rivera’s Cause Of Death: A ‘Brief Illness’
When her daughter Lisa Mordente first made the announcement of her mother’s passing, she understandably did not give many details.
In her short statement, she merely pointed out that Chita had passed away after a “brief illness.”
This could mean a number of things, of course, and we’ll update as soon as we know more.
The news was particularly heartbreaking for those who knew her best.
“It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the death of the beloved Broadway icon Chita Rivera. My dear friend of over 40 years was 91,” her rep Merle Frimark said in a statement to People on Tuesday.
In her statement, Chita’s daughter also mentioned all of the loved ones she left behind.
“She is also survived by her siblings Julio, Armando and Lola del Rivero, (her older sister Carmen predeceased her), along with her many nieces, nephews and friends. Her funeral will be private. A memorial service will be announced in due course,” her statement reads, while also asking for any donations in her memory to be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Chita Rivera, A Broadway Legend
Chita was best known for her show-stealing roles in West Side Story, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
She originated the role of Anita in West Side Story, that was immortalized on screen by Oscar winners Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose.
Of Puerto Rican heritage, Chita was a ten-time Tony Award nominee. She won Tony Awards for The Rink in 1984 and Kiss of the Spiderwoman in 1993.
She also received a special lifetime achievement Tony in 2018.
Her musical work translated to the small and big screen alike. She was in films like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and TV shows like Will & Grace.
Memorably, she had a cameo role of Nickie in the film adaptation of Chicago, and most recently, she lent her talent to the film adaptation of tick, tick… BOOM! starring alongside other Broadway legends in the Sunday performance.