Broadway performer Harvey Evans, who appeared in musicals like Hello, Dolly!, Follies, West Side Story, Gypsy, and more, died December 24. He was 80.
ABC reports Mr. Evans passed away at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey. Immediately following the news, tributes poured in from the likes of Bernadette Peters, Tony Yazbeck, Bebe Neuwirth, and Harvey Fierstein.
Born Harry Hohnecker January 7, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Evans got started in his career when his parents enrolled him in dance class at the age of four. After visiting NYC as a young teen, the performer knew his calling lay waiting in the Big Apple, and he moved to the city in 1955.
The first gig he landed was as a dancer in the national touring company of Damn Yankees, during which he met Bob Fosse, who hired Mr. Evans for a number of his shows, including New Girl in Town and Redhead on top of the film adaptation of The Pajama Game.
After seeing a run-through of West Side Story, Mr. Evans went up to Hal Prince and asked to audition, landing the role of Gee-Tar as a replacement. He also appeared in the 1961 movie version. After West Side Story, choreographer Jerome Robbins asked Mr. Evans to audition for Gypsy, where he served as the understudy for Tulsa and appeared in the ensemble.
Mr. Evans then appeared in the short-lived Anyone Can Whistle, followed by playing Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! opposite Carol Channing (and later Betty Grable and Eve Arden) in the touring and Broadway productions.
In the original cast of Follies, Mr. Evans portrayed Young Buddy. In 1980, the performer was chosen as the standby for Jim Dale in Barnum. His more recent shows included Sunset Boulevard, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and the 2002 revival of Oklahoma!.