NEW YORK — The U.S. Postal Service is honoring entertainer Gregory Hines with a Black Heritage Series stamp.
Acting chief postal inspector Gary Barksdale is hosting the first day of issue ceremony Monday at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York.
Hines, who was known for his unique style of tap dancing, won a Tony Award in 1992 for “Jelly’s Last Jam.” On TV he starred in his eponymously titled CBS sitcom in the late 1990s, “The Gregory Hines Show,” portraying a widowed Chicago publishing executive with a 12-year-old son. He also had a recurring role on “Will & Grace.” His film credits include co-starring roles in several films, most notably “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996), “The Cotton Club” (1984) and “White Nights” (1985). He also provided the voice of Big Bill in the children’s animated TV series “Little Bill” in the early 2000s. He died of cancer at age 57 in 2003.
The forever stamp features Hines smiling on one knee with one foot raised to show the taps on the bottom of his shoe.
No stranger to Chicago stages, in 1997 Hines headlined a concert performance at the Auditorium Theatre. In an interview with the Sun-Times ahead of the show, Hines commented: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Chicago. I love the city. I remember playing there in the ’60s at the Playboy Club, the Drake Hotel, the Palmer House. All those nightclub-lounges where we could dance. As much as I love working on television and in films, I really miss dancing in front of an audience. So when I get the opportunity to do a show like this one, I jump at it. Or tap at it, should I say.”
Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio, Chicago Sun-Times