Dancing with the Stars host Alfonso Ribeiro has let fans know that his heart is broken after the death of someone very important to him. While he said the death happened a few days prior, he wanted to make sure that he took the time to reflect on his loss. In his statement, he mentioned how he wouldn’t be where he is today without Hinton Battle.
Here is what Alfonso had to say about Hinton Battle and what this man meant to his career.
Alfonso Ribeiro leaves touching tribute to Hinton Battle
Alfonso Ribeiro took to his Instagram account and left a touching tribute post in memory of Hinton Battle. Hinton died on January 30 at the age of 67. He died after a lengthy illness and his cause of death will remain unknown as the family said they will not release that information.
Battle is a three-time Tony Award-winning stage actor. All his wins were for Featured Actor in a Musical. He won for his roles in Sophisticated Ladies (1981), The Tap Dance Kid (1984), and Miss Saigon (1991). It was in The Tap Dance Kid that Battle first connected with Alfonso. The Dancing with the Stars host was only 12 at the time that he appeared in that musical on Broadway with Hinton, who himself was 27 at the time.
“This man showed me what exceptional talent truly looked like,” Ribeiro wrote on Instagram. He also shared a video clip of Hinton in action. “He was an amazing dancer singer actor performer person and friend. Everything I became as a performer I owe to Hinton.” He then said he would miss Hinton and that he would always have a place in his heart.
In an older interview with Playbill, Alfonso said he didn’t think he could tap dance when he tried out for the role. However, he said that Hinton Battle was his “one-man rooting section.” Hinton had been dancing since he was 10, so just a little younger than Alfonso at the time.
Where you might know Hinton Battle from
Even if you have never gone to a Broadway play and saw Hinton Battle perform, you might know him from other places. After his work as a Tony Award-winning stage performer, he also took his talents to television. This was a similar path that Alfonso Ribeiro took himself.
On television, Battle had small roles in shows like Quantum Leap, Touched by an Angel, and Dreamgirls. His biggest role for an entire generation of fantasy television fans came when he played Sweet the Jazz Demon in “Once More, with Feeling.” This is widely considered one of the greatest Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes in the show’s history. He also won over a new set of fans when he co-directed and choreographed Evil Dead The Musical Off-Broadway.
Do you have any memories of Hinton Battle? Please help send your best wishes to Alfonso Ribeiro and Battle’s friends and family in the comments below.