Hinton Battle: Broadway’s Iconic Scarecrow and Tony-Winning Legend Leaves a Theatrical Legacy

“Remembering Hinton Battle: Tony-Winning Broadway Icon and Multi-Talented Performer”

Renowned Broadway performer Hinton Battle, acclaimed for originating the role of The Scarecrow in Broadway’s “The Wiz,” has passed away at the age of 67. His demise on Tuesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles follows a prolonged illness, leaving a legacy marked by his exceptional contributions to the world of entertainment.

Battle’s Broadway journey began with his debut in the original production of “The Wiz” at the age of 15. His extraordinary talent earned him three Tony Awards, all in the category of featured actor in a musical, for his remarkable work in “Sophisticated Ladies” (1981), “The Tap Dance Kid” (1984), and “Miss Saigon” (1991). Beyond Broadway, Battle left an indelible mark as an NAACP Image Award winner, SAG and Critics Choice nominee, and a key ensemble member of the 2007 movie musical “Dreamgirls.”

Born in 1956, Battle’s early training at the Jones Haywood School of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and the School of American Ballet in New York City paved the way for a prolific career. His Broadway journey spanned three decades, featuring memorable performances in productions like “Dancin’,” “Dreamgirls,” “Chicago,” and “Ragtime.” Not confined to Broadway, Battle ventured into television and film, leaving his mark on productions such as “Smash,” “Quantum Leap,” and the fan-favorite musical episode “Once More, With Feeling” in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” which he also choreographed.

Beyond his artistic achievements, Battle’s influence extended to education. In 2017, he established the Hinton Battle Dance Academy (HBDA), aimed at preparing aspiring talents for careers in the entertainment industry. His commitment to the arts earned him numerous accolades, including the Midtown International Theatre Festival Award, Fred Astaire Award, Ira Aldridge Award, Planet Connection Award, and the Amas 2014 Rosie Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Hinton Battle’s impact reached far and wide, from his choreography prowess showcased in the Academy Awards and various films to his dedication to nurturing young talents through the HBDA. As we remember this Broadway luminary, his significant contributions to the arts and his lasting legacy continue to resonate within the entertainment community.


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