Sandra P. Angulo
July 29, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Jerome Robbins, famed choreographer of such Broadway hits as “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “The King and I,” died today in Manhattan at the age of 79 after suffering a stroke on Saturday. Robbins’ first major success came in 1944 with his debut ballet, “Fancy Free,” which he also choreographed that year in its musical-theater version, “On the Town.” He then worked steadily for both the New York City Ballet and numerous Broadway shows. In 1957 he had his biggest triumph with “West Side Story,” which he conceived, directed, and choreographed. (He also won two Oscars for the 1961 film version.) After “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1964, Robbins left the musical theater to concentrate solely on ballet. However, he returned to The Great White Way in 1989 with “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” a revue of his greatest numbers. He is survived by a sister, a niece, and a nephew.

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