‘The Wiz’ actor dies at 67 after long illness

Hinton Battle made his Broadway debut in 1975 at the age of 18, starring as The Scarecrow in the original production of “The Wiz,” an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Hinton Battle, the Tony-winning actor best known for originating the role of The Scarecrow in Broadway’s “The Wiz,” has died. He was 67.

Battle died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles following a lengthy illness, a representative for the actor confirmed to USA TODAY Wednesday. His rep added in an emailed statement that the actor’s family will not be disclosing an exact cause of death.

Born in West Germany, Battle displayed an early aptitude for the arts. After studying at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, Battle received a scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet under the direction of famed choreographer George Balanchine, according to Playbill.

First appeared on www.usatoday.com

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