Dick Latessa has passed away at the age of 87.
The Broadway actress, who stole hearts with his performance as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning original production of Hairspray, was beloved by fans and costars alike.
“The day we read the first act of Hairspray for the first time, Dick was with us,” Margo Lion, who produced the show, told Deadline. “He owned the part from that day forward. He was the real thing — a triple threat as a performer with perfect timing and always on time. A generous, big-hearted artist whose talent and professionalism were a model for making a full life in the theater.”
Harvey Fierstein, who played Latessa's on-stage wife in the production took to social media to honor his friend and dance partner.
"We lost the 1 & only Dick Latessa & my heart is broken. Still, for 1,000 performances I had the best partner ever," he wrote on Twitter.
He then took to Facebook to praise Latessa's acting and leadership.
"Oh, Dick, there was only one you and I'll be forever grateful that I got you all to myself for nearly a thousand performances. Sincerest condolences to Jonathan, Shirley and his beloved daughters. Dick Latessa... You are timeless to me!" he said, quoting their iconic song-and-dance number from the show.
This story first appeared at Womanista.