Did Gregory Hines Have a Twin Brother? Was It Maurice Hines?

An image illustration of: Did Gregory Hines Have a Twin Brother?
An image illustration of: Did Gregory Hines Have a Twin Brother?

Gregory Hines was one of the most celebrated tap dancers of all time, as well as a successful actor, choreographer, and singer.

He starred in more than 40 films and several Broadway shows, earning many accolades and awards.

But did he have a twin brother? The answer is no, but he did have a very close and talented older brother, Maurice Hines, who was also a tap dancer, actor, director, and singer.

The Hines brothers, born 26 months apart, embarked on a remarkable journey together, leaving an indelible mark on the world of entertainment.

In this article, we will explore the life and career of the Hines brothers, from their early days as child performers to their later achievements and challenges.

The Hines Kids

The Hines brothers were born in New York City, to a Catholic couple, Alma Iola (Lawless) and Maurice Robert Hines Sr., a dancer, musician, and actor.

Gregory was born on February 14, 1946, and Maurice on December 13, 1943.

They began tap dancing when they were very young, studying with choreographer Henry LeTang.

He recognized their talent and created routines for them, inspired by the legendary Nicholas Brothers.

The brothers made their Broadway debut in The Girl in Pink Tights in 1954, when they were only 10 and 12 years old.

The Hines Brothers

In the 1960s, the Hines brothers decided to pursue their solo careers, as the popularity of tap dancing declined.

Maurice was cast as Nathan Detroit in the national tour of Guys and Dolls, and later returned to Broadway in Eubie! (1978), a musical tribute to Eubie Blake.

Gregory also appeared in Eubie!, as well as other shows like Comin’ Uptown (1979) and Sophisticated Ladies (1981).

He also ventured into film and TV, starring in movies like Wolfen (1981), The Cotton Club (1984), White Nights (1985), and Running Scared (1986), and shows like Love, Sidney (1981-1983) and The Gregory Hines Show (1997-1998).

He also voiced Big Bill on the animated series Little Bill (1999-2004).

The Hines brothers reunited in 1984, when they co-starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, playing a tap-dancing duo reminiscent of the real-life Nicholas Brothers.

They also performed together at the 1989 Academy Awards, where Gregory was nominated for Best Original Song for “There’s Nothing Better Than Love”, a duet with Luther Vandross.

The Hines brothers continued to collaborate and support each other, until Gregory’s untimely death in 2003, due to liver cancer. He was 57 years old.

The Hines Legacy

The Hines brothers were not only talented performers but also influential advocates for tap dancing.

They helped revive the art form, by introducing new styles, rhythms, and improvisations, and by honoring the legacy of the tap masters who came before them.

They also mentored and inspired many young tap dancers, such as Savion Glover, Jason Samuels Smith, and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.

The brothers received many honours and awards, such as the Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Emmy Awards, and the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

They also have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a street named after them in Harlem.

They are widely regarded as two of the greatest tap dancers of all time, and their impact on the world of entertainment is undeniable.

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