Gregory Hines Biography

Gregory Hines photo

Born: February 14, 1946


Date of Birth: February 14, 1946

Involved in show business since toddlerhood, Gregory Hines has grown up to be a highly acclaimed tap dancer, choreographer, dramatic and comic actor, singer and director.

A native to the Big Apple, Hines began dancing before the age of three with his brother Maurice. When he was five, the brothers turned professional and make nightclub appearances around the country. Formally The Hines Kids, they later became The Hines Brothers, and later still they became Hines, and lastly Hines and Dad when their father decided to join them. As this new team, they started a ten-year stint on the nightclub circuit and on television both across the country and abroad.

In 1973, he left his brother and father's act to form a jazz-rock group called Severance.

Hines made his Broadway debut in Eubie for which he received a Tony Award nomination. He followed that with Comin' Uptown and Sophisticated Ladies, both of which earned him a Tony award. For his work on Jelly's Last Jam, Hines won three more Tonys and a Theatre World Award.

Hines made his feature film debut in Mel Brooks' all-star farce The History of the World, Part I, replacing an ailing Richard Pryor in the role of Josephus. It was actress Madeline Kahn who suggested Hines for the role.

After that, Hines proved himself a versatile actor by starring in everything from musical dramas in which he showed off his dancing ability in films like Tap and The Cotton Club, to straight dramas like The Preacher's Wife (1996). He also dabbled in comedies such as Renaissance Man, sci-fi/horror Wolfen and action films Running Scared(1986).

In 1994, Hines made his directorial bow with Bleeding Hearts(1994). In 1987 he released an album titled Gregory Hines in 1987.

After divorcing his first wife Patricia Panella, who bore him one daughter, he married Pamela Koslow in 1981 who bought to the marriage a daughter and a son from a previous union.

In 1997, he starred in the CBS family comedy The Gregory Hines Show as a single father who has trouble reentering the dating scene.

After that, he found much success on television, playing regular roles on three sitcoms. On Will and Grace, he played Ben Doucette from 1999 to 2000; on Lost at Home (2003), he played Jordan King and he provided the voice of Big Bill on the animated series Little Bill from 1999 to 2003.

Hines died of liver cancer at the age of 57 on August 9, 2003 in Los Angeles. On January 28, 2019, the US Postal Service honored Hines with a postage stamp, as part of its Black Heritage series. He was engaged to Negrita Jayde at the time.


Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000)
Once In the Life (1999)
The Tic Code (1998)
Good Luck (1997)
The Preacher's Wife (1996)
Mad Dog Time (1996)
Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Kangaroo Court (1994)
Renaissance Man (1994)
Eve of Destruction (1991)
A Rage in Harlem (1991)
Tap (1989)
Off Limits (1988/I)
Running Scared (1986)
White Nights (1985)
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
The Cotton Club (1984)
Deal of the Century (1983)
History of the World: Part I (1981)
Eubie! (1981)
Wolfen (1981)

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