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Extra, 1-25: Taps
Fayard Joins Harold
Tapper Rusty Frank,
who has been monitoring the situation since dance legend Fayard
a stroke November 22 at the age of 91, writes:
To all the Friends and
Fans of Fayard Nicholas,
Our friend, our legend,
our hero, our idol, our humanitarian -- Fayard Nicholas -- passed
away peacefully at home (last night) at 8:30 p.m., January 24, 2006.
He was surrounded by friends and his loving wife, Katherine Hopkins
Fayard was brought home
from the hospital last week. Countless friends and family came by
to spend time, chat, watch Nicholas Brothers clips, sing, laugh,
share stories, and just 'be' with one of our favorite people on
the planet Earth.
I just got off the phone
with Fayard's son, Tony, and he said to me it was as though all
the great legends of tap dance were calling out to Fayard, "'Hey!
Fayard! We can't start the show up here without you!' Harold Nicholas,
Gregory Hines, Eleanor Powell, Cholly Atkins, Honi Coles, Gene Kelly,
Paul Kennedy, John Bubbles, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Hal Leroy,
Peg Leg Bates -- and all of them, they're all there, and yelling
down to earth, 'Fayard! We can't start the show! You're putting
Heaven on hold! What are you waiting for? Get up there!'"
Tony went on to say,
he imagined that once his dad got up there will all the rest of
them, he looked around and said, "My goodness! This is wonderful!
I hope to tell you! Everything is copasetic!"
Tony finished by saying,
"Now he's there and they can start the show!"
Fayard's son Tony, Fayard's
younger sister Dorothy, and Fayard's wife Katherine wanted to make
sure to let you know that the family can't begin to tell you how
much it's all meant. Your support -- all of you from every part
of the globe. Every card that you sent, every email that you sent,
every donation that you made, large and small, everything helped.
I know how it helped.
I know that you kept their spirits lifted through this excruciatingly
tiring time. I know that your donations helped get Katherine and
Fayard out of debt. I know that it got them on top of their bills.
I know that it allowed Katherine the release of worrying about money;
she knew that she could do everything possible for her husband,
and she did. Everything humanly possible was done for him.
Once they left the hospital
last week, medical expenses were unbelievable, but your donations
made it possible for Katherine to bring her husband home for his
last days. Your donations made it possible for her and Fayard to
get out of the hospital environment, and to be in the peace of their
Be assured that there
will be a Celebration of Fayard's life coming up. I will let you
know when I have the details. We can join together and laugh and
shout and sing and dance this man's praises. I, for one, will be
there with my shoes on!
Now, may I personally
thank you all from the bottom of my heart for what you have done.
You have come together as one family, one voice, helping this beloved
man and his wife in their hour of need. You have made my heart swell.
And now, in our man's
words, "Hey now! Everything is copasetic."
P.S. Yes, I will keep
the fund open for a bit longer, if you would still like to make
a contribution towards the outstanding hospital bills and some cushion
for Katherine's future, while she gets back on her feet in these
weeks and months to come.
News tip from Janine Gastineau.