The Passing of Fayard Nicholas

By Debra Cash

Rusty Frank sent this note last night…
Our friend, our legend, our hero, our idol, our humanitarian ­ Fayard Nicholas ­ passed away peacefully at home tonight at 8:30pm, January 24, 2006. He was surrounded by friends and his loving wife, Katherine Hopkins Nicholas.

Fayard was brought home from the hospital last week. Countless friends and family came by to spend time, chat, watch Nicholas Brothers’ clips, sing, laugh, share stories, and just “be” with one of our favorite people on the planet earth.

I just got off the phone with Fayard’s son, Tony, and he said to me it was as though all the great legends of tap dance were calling out to Fayard, “Hey! Fayard! We can’t start the show up here with out you!” Harold Nicholas, Gregory Hines, Eleanor Powell, Cholly Atkins, Honi Coles, Gene Kelly, Paul Kennedy, John Bubbles, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Hal Leroy, Peg Leg Bates… and all of them, they’re all there, and yelling down to earth… “Fayard! We can’t start the show! You’re putting Heaven on hold! What are you waiting for? Get up there!”

Tony went on to say, he imagined that once his dad got up there will all the rest of them, he looked around and said, “My goodness! This is wonderful! I hope to tell you! Everything is copasetic!”

Tony finished by saying, “Now he’s there and they can start the show!


Fayard’s son Tony, Fayard’s younger sister Dorothy, and Fayard’s wife Katherine wanted to make sure to let you know that the family can’t begin to tell you how much it’s all meant. Your support… all of you from every part of the globe. Every card that you sent, every email that you sent, every donation that you made, large and small, everything helped.

I know how it helped. I know that you kept their spirits lifted through this excruciatingly tyring time. I know that your donations helped get Katherine and Fayard out of debt. I know that it got them on top of their bills. I know that it allowed Katherine the release of worrying about money; she knew that she could do everything possible for her husband, and she did. Everything humanly possible was done for him.

Once they left the hospital last week, medical expenses were unbelievable, but your donations made it possible for Katherine to bring her husband home for his last days. Your donations made it possible for her and Fayard to get out of the hospital environment, and to be in the peace of their own apartment.

Be assured that there will be a “Celebration” of Fayard’s life coming up. I will let you know when I have the details. We can join together and laugh and shout and sing and dance this man’s praises. I, for one, will be there with my shoes on!

Now, may I personally thank you all from the bottom of my heart for what you have done. You have come together as one family, one voice, helping this beloved man and his wife in their hour of need. You have made my heart swell.

Thank you.

And now, in our man’s words, “Hey now! Everything is copasetic.”



P.S. Yes, I will keep the fund open for a bit longer, if you would still like to make a contribution towards the outstanding hospital bills and some cushion for Katherine’s future, while she gets back on her feet in these weeks and months to come.

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