NEW YORK - Stars from the worlds of theater, film and dance came out Sunday night to pay tribute to the late tap-dancing actor Gregory Hines at a festive memorial celebration at Harlem's Apollo Theater.
Fellow actress and dancer Debbie Allen said Hines' love of dance infused his entire body of work, from the stage to the screen.
"He took tap to a whole other level," Allen said before the tribute. "It was a part of everything he did - his movies, his Broadway shows, his music."
Hines, a Tony Award winner who died of cancer in August at 57, starred on Broadway and in movies including "White Nights" and "Running Scared."
Colleagues said they'd miss his generous spirit as much as his contributions as an artist.
"He was a wonderful, funny man, humorous and warm," said Isabella Rossellini, who played Hines' wife in the 1985 film "White Nights." "He didn't change on the set and off the set. There was an authenticity about him."
Hines also starred in a sitcom, "The Gregory Hines Show," in 1997, and had a recurring role on NBC's "Will & Grace."
Actress Phylicia Rashad and Hines' older brother, Maurice Hines, co-hosted the tribute, which included performances by tap dancers and singers as well as video clips of Gregory Hines' performances.
A range of artists from Mikhail Baryshnikov to Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee came out for the tribute as did politicians such as Rep. Charles Rangel, D-Harlem.
Gregory Oliver Hines was born in New York City in 1946. When Gregory was a toddler, Maurice would come home from tap dancing classes and teach him steps.
The brothers began performing together when Gregory Hines was 5. A year later, they performed at the Apollo with their dad in a family dance trio billed as Hines, Hines and Dad.
"I brought him home," Maurice Hines told the Apollo crowd on Sunday, "because this is where we began."