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Chita Rivera: Cause of death, age, net worth, husband, children and more

Chita Rivera, was an American actress, singer, and dancer. Rivera received numerous accolades including two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, and a Drama League Award.

She was the first Latina and the first Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002, and Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. She won the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2018.

After making her Broadway debut as a dancer in Guys and Dolls (1950), she then went on to originate roles in Broadway musicals such as Anita in West Side Story (1957), Velma Kelly in Chicago (1975), and the title role in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993).

Chita Rivera
FILE – Chita Rivera arrives at the 72nd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018, in New York. On Tuesday Rivera released “Chita: A Memoir,” written with Patrick Pacheco. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

She was a ten-time Tony Award nominee, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical twice for her roles in The Rink (1984) and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993).[3] She was Tony-nominated for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie (1961), Chicago (1975), Merlin (1983), Jerry’s Girls (1986), Nine (2003), and The Visit (2015).

Rivera acted in the film Sweet Charity (1969) and appeared in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), and Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021). She played Connie Richardson in the CBS sitcom The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1973–1974).

She also appeared on television in The Judy Garland Show (1963), The Carol Burnett Show (1971), and Will & Grace (2005). Her autobiography, Chita: A Memoir, was published in 2023.

 Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera … Jason Mendez/Getty


Chita Rivera died in New York on January 30, 2024, at the age of 91.

“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,” shared her rep Merle Frimark in a statement on Tuesday.

Cause of Death

The specific cause of Rivera’s death has not been publicly disclosed, only that she passed away after a brief illness.

Lisa Mordente, the daughter of Chita Rivera said her beloved mother died peacefully on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 in New York after a brief illness.


Rivera was 91 years old at the time of her passing. Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson in 1933, she had a career that spanned over six decades, earning her widespread acclaim and recognition.

Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Chita Rivera’s net worth was estimated to be around $2 million at the time of her death.


Chita Rivera was married to Tony Mordente, a fellow dancer who also starred in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. They got married on December 1, 1957, and had a daughter named Lisa Mordente in 1958. The couple divorced in 1966.


Chita Rivera had one child, Lisa Mordente, with her ex-husband Tony Mordente. Lisa Mordente is a singer, dancer, and choreographer. She was born on July 30, 1958, while Chita Rivera was starring in the original production of West Side Story.

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera. Dia Dipasupil/Getty


Chita Rivera was born to Puerto Rican descent father and Scottish cum Italian descent mother. Her father died when she was just seven years old leading her mother to go to work at The Pentagon.

She was admitted to Jones-Haywood School of Ballet in 1994 by her mother. She was chosen for audition in New York City by a teacher who was from George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.

During her early years in 1951, she was accompanying a friend who was taking part in the audition for the musical Broadway titled “Call Me Madam” when she seized the role herself surprisingly. Subsequently, she too landed roles in Guys and Dolls and Can-Can.

He got married to dancer Tony Mordente on December 1, 1957. Her performance had got so much attention and was so considered so prominent for show’s success that West Side Story, which was a London Broadway production, was postponed as she was pregnant during the original running schedule of the show. He got cast opposite Alfred Drake in 163 in the Broadway titled Zenda.

Similarly, she too appeared in 1975 as Velma Kelly in the musical Chicago. In her later years, for her portrayal as the leading actress in Kiss of the Spider Woman, she was awarded with a Tony Award. She received a Kennedy Centers Honors award in 2002 making her the first Latino American of getting that honor.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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