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Back in 1961, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ Hollywood film, “West Side Story,” became something of a worldwide sensation when it won 10 Oscars — still the most ever for a big-screen adaptation of a musical.

Among the fans of that groundbreaking teen tragedy about love and ethnic tensions in a tough 1950s New York neighborhood, young women the world over idolized one of its stars in particular — George Chakiris, who played Bernardo, the leader of a gang who many likely wished could step out from the screen, kick his long legs in the air and sing and dance in front of their eyes.

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