Theater, film and dance stars came out last night (21SEP03) to pay tribute to late tap-dancing actor Gregory Hines at Harlem, New York's APOLLO THEATER.

Hines, a TONY Award winner, who died of cancer aged just 57 in August (03), starred on Broadway and in movies like Waiting To Exhale and RUNNING SCARED.

COSBY SHOW actress Phylicia Rashad and Hines' older brother MAURICE co-hosted the tribute, which included performances by tap dancers and singers as well as video clips of Hines' performances.

A range of artists including ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov came out for the tribute.

Fellow actress and dancer DEBBIE ALLEN said Hines' love of dance infused his entire body of work, explaining, "He took tap to a whole other level. It was a part of everything he did - his movies, his Broadway shows, his music."

Isabella Rossellini, who played Hines' wife in the 1985 film WHITE NIGHTS, said, "He was a wonderful, funny man, humorous and warm. He didn't change on the set and off the set. There was an authenticity about him."

Gregory Oliver Hines was born in New York City in 1946. When he was just six years old he and Maurice performed at the Apollo with their father in a family dance trio billed as HINES, HINES AND DAD.

Maurice told the crowd at the tribute, "I brought him home, because this is where we began."

22/09/2003 17:16