Nicholas Dante

(Book, Chorus Line) (1941–1991) was an American dancer and writer, best known for having co-written the book of A Chorus Line. Born Conrado Morales in New York City, Dante began his career as a dancer and performer, appearing on Broadway in Applause, Ambassador and Smith, among others. In 1974, Michael Bennett invited Dante to participate in interview sessions with Broadway dancers who, almost anonymously, serve as a backdrop behind star performers. Those sessions provided ample material for a Broadway musical. Collaborating with Bennett and James Kirkwood Jr., Dante created A Chorus Line, which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The character of Paul, a gay Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Dante. Sammy Williams, who originated the role, won the 1976 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Dante later assumed the role himself. In 1991, at age 49, Dante died in New York City from AIDS-related complications.