Hinton Battle, the noted dancer and three-time Tony Award-winning actor, passed away at the age of 67. The cause of his death remains unknown.
The tragic news was confirmed by his close friend, Debbie Allen, through a heartfelt social media post.
“Today I honor Hinton Battle, my dear friend who left us to dance and sing in God’s Ensemble last night" she remarked. "He fought this battle to live and be creative, impacting audiences and young people across the globe. Let us always hold him high in our hearts and in our mind’s eye and forever speak his name.”
Battle, born in Germany on November 29, 1956, gained fame for his iconic roles, including Wayne in 2006’s Dreamgirls and as Scarecrow in the original 1975 run of The Wiz on Broadway. Fans flooded Allen’s social media comments with an outpouring of love and condolences, remembering him as one of the most talented individuals to grace the entertainment world.
According to Playbill, Battle, considered one of “Broadway’s most respected musical stars,” started his career as a teenager by originating the role of Scarecrow in The Wiz. His Broadway journey continued, earning him three Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his exceptional performances in Miss Saigon, The Tap Dance Kid, and Sophisticated Ladies. Later in life, he transitioned into acting, writing, directing, and producing.
Battle made memorable appearances in various shows and films, including Touched By An Angel, Quantum Leap, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Foreign Student, and These Old Broads. Alongside Yoshimoto Kogyo, he opened the Hinton Battle Dance Academy in Tokyo, contributing to the preparation of the youth for careers in entertainment.
Born in West Germany as part of the Baumholder Army Military Community, Battle was raised in Washington, D.C., and New York City. With a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, he studied ballet until the age of 15. His Broadway debut in The Wiz earned him a Drama Desk Award nomination.
Beyond his stage career, Battle's impact extended to the founding of the Hinton Battle Dance Academy, which operated from 2017 to 2021. His legacy as a multifaceted artist, mentor, and Tony Award-winning performer will be remembered by audiences worldwide.