Today the U.S. Postal Service issues the 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series --- Gregory Hines, whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form. A versatile performer who danced, acted and sang on Broadway, television and in movies, Hines developed the entertainment traditions of tap into an art form for a younger generation and is credited with renewing interest in tap during the 1990s.
Acting Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale will be the dedicating official at the First-Day-Of-Issue ceremony at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City.
Gregory Hines (1946-2003) was nominated for Tony Awards in the 1970s for his performances in three Broadway musicals — “Eubie!,” “Comin’ Uptown,” and “Sophisticated Ladies” — and won a Tony Award in 1992 for his starring role in “Jelly’s Last Jam.” He danced alongside his brother, Maurice, in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 film “The Cotton Club” and alongside ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 1985 movie “White Nights,” and he appeared in the 1989 movie “Tap,” which highlighted three generations of tap dancers. He also hosted an Emmy-winning Public Broadcasting Service show about tap dancing, recorded a No. 1 R&B duet with Luther Vandross, twice hosted the Tony Awards, and acted in television sitcoms.
The stamp features a 1988 photograph by Jack Mitchell that shows a smiling Hines on one knee in a red blazer and gray pants, with one foot raised to show the taps on the bottom of his shoe. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.