Jan 31, 2024 - World

In photos: The legacy of Broadway star Chita Rivera

Several men dancers surround Chita Rivera as she dances on a stage with lights behind her

Chita Rivera dances on March 19, 1966. Photo: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Legendary entertainer Chita Rivera passed away this week at the age of 91.

The big picture: Rivera, who was of Puerto Rican heritage, spent decades on stage and on camera, earning accolades for her many talents. In 2019, the Broadway star was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian in the U.S.

Chita River sits on stage during a performance, looking off to the side. A man is seen moving behind her. The set includes a fake tree.
Rivera performs comedy skits satirizing the television medium on an episode of "The Revlon Revue" on May 5, 1960. Photo: CBS via Getty Images
three dancers waving their skirts in the air dance behind Chita Rivera, who is holding one arm up while the other arm is at her waist. She is looking to the side and smiling.
In this undated photo, Rivera performs as "Anita" in the Broadway musical "West Side Story," a role she originated on Broadway in 1957. Photo: John Springer Collection/Corbis via Getty Images
Chita Rivera bends over while holding up her young daughter, both posing for a photo inLondon
Rivera with her daughter, Lisa Mordente, while in London on Feb. 6, 1962. Photo: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Members of the Beatles and two men hold Chita Rivera
The Beatles along with Mike and Bernie Winters hold Rivera during rehearsals for the Blackpool Night Out show on July 19, 1964. Photo: Syndication/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Chita Rivera poses with her hands on her waist, wearing a big feathered headdress
Chita Rivera on "The Carol Burnett Show" on Jan. 24, 1969. Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
Chita Rivero laughs while President Barack Obama whispers in her ear.
President Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, to Rivera in August 2019. Photo: Christy Bowe/ImageCatcher News Service/Corbis via Getty Images
On the left, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor looks and smiles at Chita Rivera, who is waving at a crowd and laughing
From top left: Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Rivera, Sidney Poitier and Mary Robinson at the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in August 2019.
Chita Rivera wearing all red stands with her arms out in front of a microphone with a stand at the Tony awards
Rivera accepts the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
Chita Rivera, dressed in all red with pearl strands, stands in front of a wall that has her name on it
Chita Rivera attends the Chita Rivera Awards 2023 at NYU Skirball Center on May 22, 2023, in New York City. Photo: Jason Mendez/Getty Images

Subscribe to Axios Latino to get vital news about Latinos and Latin America, delivered to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go deeper