Hinton Battle, a Broadway star and Tony Award winner, has reportedly passed away. He was 67 years old at the time of his death.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hinton passed away on Jan. 30 while being hospitalized at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Although the Broadway star’s rep said he had been battling a lengthy illness, the family has no plans to disclose his official cause of death.
Fellow Broadway star Debbie Allen took to Instagram to announce Battle’s passing. “Today I honor Hinton Battle, my dear friend who left us to dance and sing in God’s Ensemble last night,” Allen shared. “He fought this battle to live and be creative impacting audiences and young people across the globe.”
According to BroadwayWorld, Hinton Battle began his career on Broadway when he was 15 years old. He starred in various productions including The Wiz, Dancin, Dreamgirls, Chicago, and Miss Saigon.
Along with the Tony Awards, Battle received various awards over the years. This includes the NAACP Image Awards, Midtown International Theatre Festival Award, and Planet Connection Award.
Battle also appeared, directed, wrote, and produced numerous TV shows. Among them are Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smash, and Foreign Student. He also appeared in the film adaptation of Dream Girls.
Hinton Battle Once Reflected on Pursuing Entertainment on a Professional Level
During an interview with The Hype Magazine, Hinton Battle spoke about his entertainment career and what really inspired it.
“I originally moved to NYC to study at the School of American Ballet when I was 13,” Battle explained. “And while on break, I was looking for work.”
Hinton Battle recalled his sister being cast as a chorus member of The Wiz. He decided to audition and was cast in the chorus. While on a promotional tour, one of the leads abruptly left the show during intermission. He was quickly cast as the Scarecrow during the second act.
“So Stephanie Mills, who was playing ‘Dorothy’, said to me, ‘When I pull your straw, that’s when you have a line,’” he recalled. “So every time Stephanie would pull my straw, I would Jump in the air, do a split and a Pirouette turn, and say whatever came out of my mouth!”
The next day, the director called him and offered him the role full-time. “And the rest is history.”
In regards to what sustained him in the entertainment industry, Battle added, “First and foremost, loving it. You have to love what you do, then it never gets old and tired. That’s what keeps me going. Any job is a new job and a new experience, even if you only have three days to do it!”