Rivera, Chita

Rivera, Chita

(1933–  ) actress, dancer; born in Washington, D.C. At age 16, Rivera won a scholarship to Balanchine's School of American Ballet in New York City, made her professional debut in Call me Madam (1952), and had her first important part in Guys and Dolls (1953). Perhaps her best-known role was as Anita in West Side Story (1957). Already twice nominated for a Tony, she won the award for the first time for The Rink, in which she co-starred with Liza Minnelli (1984), although many considered her finest role to be in the Broadway production of Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.