Catherine Zeta-Jones leads celebrity tributes to Chita Rivera alongside Kristin Chenoweth as she gushes of the late Broadway icon ‘there will never, ever, be anyone like you’

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kristin Chenoweth were among the many celebrities paying tribute to Broadway legend Chita Rivera following her death at 91.

Jones, 54, praised Chita in a tribute shared to Instagram, recalling the ‘incredible impact’ she had left on her own life and describing her childhood dream of one day meeting Rivera.

Both Jones and Rivera played murderess Velma Kelly in Chicago. Jones played her in the 2003 film adaptation of the musical after Rivera originated the role on Broadway.

‘Chita Rivera,’ she began in her post. ‘There are no words to tell you what an incredible impact you have had on my life. From dreaming of being you as a little girl, then meeting you and then being deeply connected to you by playing the one and only Velma Kelly in Chicago.

‘There will never, ever, be anyone like you Chita, ever. Dim the lights on Broadway! Or, may I suggest, we just plug the plug. I love you Chita, sleep tight my Queen.’

Chenoweth pictured March 2023

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kristin Chenoweth were among the many celebrities paying tribute to Broadway legend Chita Rivera following her death at 91

Jones, 54, praised Chita in a tribute shared to Instagram, recalling the 'incredible impact' she had left on her own life and describing her childhood dream of one day meeting Rivera

Jones, 54, praised Chita in a tribute shared to Instagram, recalling the ‘incredible impact’ she had left on her own life and describing her childhood dream of one day meeting Rivera

The post included photos of Rivera performing, along with a headshot of the theatre icon.

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth also honored Rivera on X.

‘Chita, There was only you. Then everyone else. I looked up to you and always will admire you as a talent and mostly as a person! A kick butt woman you were. All the rest of us just wanna be you. RIP CHITA,’ she posted.

Rachel Zegler, who starred in the film adaptation of West Side Story as Maria, shared a snap with Chita. Chita famously played Anita in the Broadway production. 

‘to the woman who showed me i could, and believed in me when i did, i already miss you. rest in peace, chita,’ she posted to X. 

Lisa Rinna commemorated Chita on her Instagram, writing ‘Rest In Peace sweet Chita’ with a photo of the icon followed by video of her performing at the Tonys.

Jason Alexander, who starred with Chita in The Rink musical, described her as ‘one of the greatest souls and talents’ he ever worked with.

‘This amazing woman, the incomparable Chita Rivera, was one of the greatest souls and talents I have ever been blessed to meet and work with. She taught me what a true professional, and a true star can be. I will love and miss her always. God love you, Chita. #RIPChitaRivera,’ the Seinfeld alum posted to Instagram, along with a photo of them.

Jones' post included photos of Rivera performing, along with a headshot of the theatre icon

Jones’ post included photos of Rivera performing, along with a headshot of the theatre icon 

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth also honored Rivera on X

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth also honored Rivera on X

Rachel Zegler, who starred in the film adaptation of West Side Story as Maria, shared a snap with Chita

Rachel Zegler, who starred in the film adaptation of West Side Story as Maria, shared a snap with Chita

Colman Domingo paid tribute to Chita on X, tweeting ‘A life well lived. An Icon. A friend. Well done Chita Rivera.’

Sarah Hyland posted lyrics to the West Side Story lyrics Somewhere as she paid tribute to Rivera. ‘Rest in Light Chita. There’s a place for us, somewhere a place for us, peace and quiet and open air, wait for us somewhere.’ 

Ana Navarro posted, ‘Rest in peace, dearest #ChitaRivera. Thank you for shattering glass-ceilings, blazing trails and opening doors through which so many were able to walk through. And being fabulous through it all.’  

Rivera died in New York Tuesday following a brief illness just one week after her 91st birthday. 

The Broadway legend had a long list of Broadway credits to her name spanning over seven decades, and was a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

Her friend Merle Frimark confirmed the sad news of her passing in a statement on Tuesday. 

‘It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the death of the beloved Broadway icon Chita Rivera. My dear friend of over 40 years was 91,’ Frimark said. 

Chita (born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson) originated several plum roles in Broadway musicals including Anita in West Side Story, Velma Kelly in Chicago, and the title role in Kiss of the Spider Woman. 

Rivera died in New York Tuesday following a brief illness just one week after her 91st birthday (Pictured above in 2022)

Rivera died in New York Tuesday following a brief illness just one week after her 91st birthday (Pictured above in 2022) 

Rivera reached true Broadways star status when she was cast as the original Anita in West Side Story in 1957

Rivera reached true Broadways star status when she was cast as the original Anita in West Side Story in 1957

Rivera was named ‘one of the best Broadway divas of all time’ by Time Out New York in 2019. 

Thanks to her involvement in such iconic musicals, Rivera ended up with an incredible ten Tony Award nominees to her name, winning three, including one for Lifetime Achievement. 

In August 2009, she became the first Latina and the first Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honor and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. 

Rivera’s career began by change in 1951, when she reportedly accompanied a friend to the audition for the touring company of Call Me Madam starring Elaine Stritch, but ended up landing the role herself. 

Cleary written in the stars, Rivera then seemed to effortlessly glide through a number of other Broadway productions – including Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Mr. Wonderful starring Sammy Davis, Jr., and Seventh Heaven. 

But she reached true Broadways star status when she was cast as Anita in West Side Story – the classic musical conceived by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. 

In 2021 at the 74th annual Tony Awards, the Broadway legend returned to the same stage that West Side Story held on its opening night. 

‘Tonight, September, 26, 1957, on this very stage, I originated the role of Anita in West Side Story,’ she gushed after receiving a standing ovation. 

The Broadway legend had a long list of Broadway credits to her name spanning over seven decades, and was a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor (pictured May 21)

The Broadway legend had a long list of Broadway credits to her name spanning over seven decades, and was a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor (pictured May 21) 

Rivera is pictured alongside Shirley MacLaine and Liza Minnelli in 1984

Rivera is pictured alongside Shirley MacLaine and Liza Minnelli in 1984

She starred played the role of Nickie in the movie version with Shirley MacLaine in 1969 (Pictured in yellow above)

She starred played the role of Nickie in the movie version with Shirley MacLaine in 1969 (Pictured in yellow above)

A scene from a production of Kiss of the Spider Woman featuring Chita Rivera

A scene from a production of Kiss of the Spider Woman featuring Chita Rivera

In 2021 at the 74th annual Tony Awards, the Broadway legend returned to the same stage that West Side Story held on its opening night

In 2021 at the 74th annual Tony Awards, the Broadway legend returned to the same stage that West Side Story held on its opening night 

Chita pictured in CHICAGO THE MUSICAL's 10 Year Anniversary All-Star Performance Benefit for Safe Horizon at Ambassador Theatre on November 14, 2006 in New York City

Chita pictured in CHICAGO THE MUSICAL’s 10 Year Anniversary All-Star Performance Benefit for Safe Horizon at Ambassador Theatre on November 14, 2006 in New York City

Presenting alongside Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, he gushed that he had always dreamed of meeting River since he was a little teenager.  

Rivera famously portrayed Anita, the girlfriend of Bernardo and a close friend and confidante to his sister Maria, in the acclaimed musical. 

Outside of theatre, Rivera appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show several times, and was a guest on The Judy Garland Show. 

She starred notably in Sweet Charity directed by Bob Fosse, playing the role of Nickie in the movie version with Shirley MacLaine in 1969. 

Rivera also enjoyed a career in music, after legendary music producer Norman Petty approached her to record with him. 

She released her first single in 1965 on the Dot Records label, and another the following year. 

Chita – who boasts 22K social media followers – shared her final Facebook post January 9 to thank BroadwayWorld.com for giving her a birthday month shout out.

Impressively, Rivera was still performing onstage as recent as June 23 at Texas’ Eisemann Center.

Chita - who boasts 22K social media followers - shared her final Facebook post January 9 to thank BroadwayWorld.com for giving her a birthday month shout out

Chita – who boasts 22K social media followers – shared her final Facebook post January 9 to thank BroadwayWorld.com for giving her a birthday month shout out

Impressively, Rivera was still performing onstage as recent as June 23 at Texas' Eisemann Center

Impressively, Rivera was still performing onstage as recent as June 23 at Texas’ Eisemann Center

Last year, the Washington, DC-born triple threat did a whole book tour in promotion of her 320-page autobiography Chita: A Memoir - co-written by Patrick Pacheco - which HarperOne published on April 25

Last year, the Washington, DC-born triple threat did a whole book tour in promotion of her 320-page autobiography Chita: A Memoir – co-written by Patrick Pacheco – which HarperOne published on April 25

Chita's final screen role was a 'Sunday' diner scene cameo in Lin-Manuel Miranda's critically-acclaimed 2021 feature directorial debut Tick, Tick... Boom!

Chita’s final screen role was a ‘Sunday’ diner scene cameo in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically-acclaimed 2021 feature directorial debut Tick, Tick… Boom!

Rivera is survived by her 65-year-old daughter Lisa Mordente (L, pictured in 2023) from her nine-year marriage to fellow West Side Story dancer Tony Mordente, which ended in 1966

Rivera is survived by her 65-year-old daughter Lisa Mordente (L, pictured in 2023) from her nine-year marriage to fellow West Side Story dancer Tony Mordente, which ended in 1966

Catherine Zeta-Jones (R) - who won an Oscar for Chicago - was among the first celebs to share a tribute to Chita

Catherine Zeta-Jones (R) – who won an Oscar for Chicago – was among the first celebs to share a tribute to Chita

Last year, the Washington, DC-born triple threat did a whole book tour in promotion of her 320-page autobiography Chita: A Memoir – co-written by Patrick Pacheco – which HarperOne published on April 25.

Chita’s final screen role was a ‘Sunday’ diner scene cameo in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically-acclaimed 2021 feature directorial debut Tick, Tick… Boom!

Rivera is survived by her 65-year-old daughter Lisa Mordente from her nine-year marriage to fellow West Side Story dancer Tony Mordente, which ended in 1966.

The Puerto Rican beauty also survived by her siblings Julio, Armando and Lola del Rivero.

The star was set to release a full album of Buddy Holly cover songs backed by The Fireballs, but the project did not see the light of day. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk