Ron Dennis Of ‘A Chorus Line’ Fame Passes At The Age Of 78

Ron Dennis A Chorus Line
Ron Dennis in A Chorus Line (via Playbill)

Ron Dennis, who gained Broadway legend status as an original cast member of A Chorus Line, passed away December 17 after a “prolonged” illness. He was 78.

After making his Broadway debut in the Pearl Bailey incarnation of Hello, Dolly!, Dennis stopped performances nightly with his high-energy, athletic turn as “Richie Walters” in A Chorus Line singing “Gimme The Ball.” For his performance in ACL, Dennis was honored with a special Theatre World award.

Dennis also appeared in the Broadway productions of Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope and My One And Only. In addition to reprising his A Chorus Line role on the road, he also appeared in national touring companies of Bob Fosse’s Pippin and Dancin‘, and as Jacob in the first national tour of La Cage Aux Follies.

He went on to write and star in his acclaimed one-man autobiographical show, Don’t Grab The Gown Til You See the Gurney.

Related: Tony Award-Winner Sammy Williams (A Chorus Line) Passes Away At 69

A fierce advocate for AIDS-related charities after being diagnosed with the virus in 1984, Dennis served on the Broadway Cares Advisory Council, and was the Senior Advisor for the Black Men’s HIV Medication Adherence Board at APLA/Project Rise.

Dennis is survived by his brother George, his nieces and nephews, and his friends and chosen family.

His family asks, in lieu of flowers, that you instead consider donating to Broadway Cares. Plans for dual celebrations of life in Los Angeles and New York will be announced in the new year.