Gia Kourlas

Greatness on Tap

”One of my favorite things in the universe has been, whenever you mention his name, people smile,” says actress Lori Petty of close friend dancer-actor Gregory Hines, who died of cancer Aug. 9 at 57.

From the way his shoes skimmed the surface of the stage in his regal, unaffected tap performances to his recurring role on Will & Grace, Hines’ career was marked with the same good humor and nobility of another luminary: Fred Astaire. ”There was something just so special about him,” says director Bill Condon. ”It was really like he walked on air.”

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