Ronald Dennis, a prolific Broadway dancer, passed away December 17. He was 78.
Mr. Dennis was immortalized in 1975 as the original Richie "Gimme The Ball" Walters in A Chorus Line, after making his Broadway debut alongside Pearl Bailey in Hello, Dolly!. Known for his athletically joyous movement style, Mr. Dennis received a special Theatre World award for his performance in A Chorus Line.
Elsewhere on Broadway, Mr. Dennis appeared in Micki Grant's seminal Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, and My One And Only. He was a frequent sight on the national tour circuit throughout the 1980s, reprising his A Chorus Line role on the road, as well as appearing in the tours of Bob Fosse's Pippin and Dancin', and as Jacob in the first national tour of La Cage Aux Follies. Later in life, Mr. Dennis wrote and starred in a one-man autobiographical show, Don't Grab The Gown Til You See the Gurney.
Mr. Dennis was a fierce advocate for AIDS-related charities after being diagnosed with the virus in 1984. He 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.
Mr. Dennis is survived by his brother George, his nieces and nephews, and his friends and chosen family. In lieu of flowers, his family asks 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.