Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJuly 3, 2000, New York City, New York, United States
SpouseDorothy Dandridge, Rigmor Newman
FactReceived the Kennedy Center Honors from President George Bush in 1991, and their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

Harold Nicholas, one of the most successful African American tap dancers of his generation, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 27, 1921. His parents, both vaudeville performers, exposed him to the world of show business at an early age and by the time he was five years old, he was already appearing on stage with his older sister, Fayard. The Nicholas Brothers became a sensation in the 1930s, touring the country with the likes of Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway and appearing in such films as “Down Argentine Way” (1940) and “Sun Valley Serenade” (1941). They were best known for their gravity-defying acrobatic dance routines, which often left audiences breathless.

Harold Nicholas continued to perform with his brother Fayard into the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in such films as “The King and I” (1956) and “Hello, Dolly!” (1969). He also had a successful solo career, appearing in such films as “The Pajama Game” (1957) and “Sweet Charity” (1969). In addition to his work in film, Harold Nicholas also appeared on Broadway and in Las Vegas showrooms. He retired from performing in the early 1980s but remained active as a choreographer and teacher. He died in 2000 at the age of 79.

During his career, Harold Nicholas won numerous awards and accolades, including an honorary Academy Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. He was inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Hall of Fame in 1999. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Dorothy Dandridge, and their two daughters.

General Info

Full NameHarold Nicholas
DiedJuly 3, 2000, New York City, New York, United States
ProfessionActor, Theatre Director, Dancer, Choreographer


SpouseDorothy Dandridge, Rigmor Newman
ChildrenHarolyn Suzanne Nicholas, Melih Nicholas
ParentsUlysses Domonick Nicholas, Viola Harden
SiblingsFayard Nicholas, Dorothy Nicholas Morrow


AwardsKennedy Center Honors, Grammy Hall of Fame
MoviesThe Five Heartbeats, Tap, The Pirate, Carolina Blues, Orchestra Wives, Tin Pan Alley, Pie, Pie Blackbird, Disco 9,000, Stoopnocracy, Barber Shop Blues

Social profile links


1We were tap-dancers, but we put more style into it, more bodywork, instead of just footwork.


1Ex-brother-in-law of Vivian Dandridge.
2Ex-son-in-law of Ruby Dandridge.
3Uncle of Tony Nicholas.
4The Nicholas Brothers were inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).
5His daughter with Dorothy Dandridge, Harolynn, was born disabled.
6Received the Dea Award (Dance Educators of America), Bay Area Critics Circle Award (Best Principal Performance, Stompin' at the Savoy ) and Harbor Performing Arts Center Lifetime Achievement Award. Other awards and honors include Black Film makers Hall of Fame (1978), Ellie Award (1984), National Film Society, Apollo theaters Hall of Fame (1986), First Class Inductees, Ebony Lifetime Achievement Award (1987), Kennedy Center Honors (1991), The National Black Media Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award (1992), Flo-Bert Award (1992), New York's Tap Dance Committee, Gypsy Award (1994), Professional Dancer's Society, Dance Magazine Award of 1995 (1995).
7Some of he and his brother's illustrious tap students include Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson, and Michael Jackson.
8He and his brother were First Class Inductees at the Apollo Theater's Hall of Fame in 1986.
9Received the Kennedy Center Honors from President George Bush in 1991, and their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
10Avoided the draft in WWII, after lies about being gay and smoking reefer failed, because he was underweight.
11Singer and tap dancer.
12Younger brother of Fayard Nicholas; together, they were billed as The Nicholas Brothers. (Click on group name for additional credits).
13Known for doing cartwheels landing in full splits.




The Five Heartbeats1991Sarge
Disco 90001977Midget
Uptown Saturday Night1974Little Seymour Pettigrew
The Bill Cosby Show1971TV SeriesMale Teacher #3
L'empire de la nuit1962Sidekick
Bon soir, Kathrin!1958-1962TV Series
Bonjour Kathrin1956Specialty Dancer (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Musik im Blut1955
Sie können sich sehen lassen1955TV MovieDancer (as The Nicholas Brothers)
El misterio del carro express1953Dancer (as Nicholas Brothers)
El mensaje de la muerte1953as The Nicholas Brothers
Botta e risposta1950Dancer (as The Nicholas Brothers)
The Pirate1948Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Carolina Blues1944Dance Specialty
Reckless Age1944uncredited
Stormy Weather1943Dancer (uncredited)
Orchestra Wives1942Dancer (uncredited)
Sun Valley Serenade1941Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
The Great American Broadcast1941Railroad Station Dance Specialty (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Tin Pan Alley1940One of The Nicholas Brothers (uncredited)
Down Argentine Way1940One of the Nicholas Brothers
My Son Is Guilty1939Specialty Act (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Don't Gamble with Love1936Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Coronado1935Dance Specialty (uncredited)
The Big Broadcast of 19361935Dash
Jealousy1934Dance Specialty (scenes deleted)
Kid Millions1934One of the Nicholas Brothers (uncredited)
Barber Shop Blues1933ShortDancer - One of the Nicholas Brothers
The Emperor Jones1933Young Tap Dancer (uncredited)
Stoopnocracy1933ShortBaby Singer (uncredited)
Pie, Pie Blackbird1932Short2nd Child with Nina / Dancer (as The Nicholas Brothers)


Tap1989performer: "Challenge"
Carolina Blues1944performer: "Mr. Beebe"
Reckless Age1944performer: "Mama yo quiero" - uncredited
Orchestra Wives1942performer: " I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" - uncredited
Tin Pan Alley1940performer: "The Sheik of Araby" 1921 - uncredited
Kid Millions1934performer: "I Want to Be a Minstrel Man" 1934 uncredited, "Mandy" 1918
Stoopnocracy1933Short performer: "Minnie the Moocher" - uncredited


Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There2003DocumentaryHimself
Biography1996-1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Small Steps, Big Strides: The Black Experience in Hollywood1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
American Masters1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade 1986/19961996Video documentaryHimself (segment "Alright")
Funny Bones1995Himself
Des O'Connor Tonight1993TV SeriesHimself
The Nicholas Brothers: We Sing and We Dance1992DocumentaryHimself
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts1992TV SpecialHimself
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts1991TV SpecialHimself - Honoree
The 12th Annual Black Achievement Awards1991TV SpecialHimself
Janet Jackson: The Rhythm Nation Compilation1990VideoHimself (segment "Alright")
America's Dance Honors1990TV SpecialHimself
22nd NAACP Image Awards1990TV SpecialHimself
Ebony/Jet Showcase1988TV SeriesHimself
The 9th Annual American Black Achievement Awards1988TV SpecialHimself (as The Nicholas Brothers)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts1987TV Special documentaryHimself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Gene Kelly1985TV Special documentaryHimself
The 6th Annual Black Achievement Awards1985TV SpecialHimself
The 53rd Annual Academy Awards1981TV SpecialHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Original Score
The Jacksons1977TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1974TV SeriesHimself - Dancer
ABC Late Night1974TV SeriesHimself
The Hollywood Palace1964-1965TV SeriesHimself - Dancer / Himself - Tap Dancer
Gran parada1964TV SeriesHimself
Age tendre et tête de bois1963TV SeriesHimself
La grande farandole1961-1963TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1953TV SeriesHimself - Dancer
The Colgate Comedy Hour1952TV SeriesHimself
Chesterfield Sound Off Time1951TV SeriesHimself
Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies1940DocumentaryHimself
Calling All Stars1937Himself (as The Nicholas Brothers)
An All-Colored Vaudeville Show1935ShortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical Treasure2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
It's Black Entertainment2002TV Special documentaryHimself
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards2001TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)
Biography1999TV Series documentaryDancer in 'Down Argentine Way'
Hidden Hollywood II: More Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Vaults1999TV Movie documentaryHimself
That's Black Entertainment1990DocumentaryHimself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975Documentary
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals1974TV MovieHimself
That's Entertainment!1974Clip from 'The Pirate'
MGM Parade1956TV SeriesSpecialty Dancer / Dancer
Dixieland Jamboree1946ShortHimself
Take It or Leave It1944Himself: Clip from 'The Great American Broadcast' (uncredited)


Won Awards

1994Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion Picture

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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