Inspiration to Astaire, Dancer Fayard Nicholas

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Dancer Fayard Nicholas

Dancer Fayard Nicholas arrives at a tribute to composer Harold Arlen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 19, 2005. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The Nicholas Brothers dance act, Fayard and his brother Harold, inspired generations of dancers, from Fred Astaire to the Hines brothers to Savion Glover.

Fayard died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home of complications from a stroke. He was 91 years old. His brother Harold passed away in 2000.

The duo amazed audiences from vaudeville to Broadway to Hollywood in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Astaire once called their performance in the film Stormy Weather "the greatest dance number ever filmed." WHYY's Joel Rose has this remembrance.

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