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Gregory Osborne

Gregory Osborne, former soloist and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada, died of cancer Saturday. He was 39.

Osborne died at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, his agent-manager Greg Patterson said.

Osborne distinguished himself as one of the world’s great dancers in such roles as the Prince in Erik Bruhn’s production of “Swan Lake,” Lensky in John Cranko’s “Onegin,” the Prince in Rudolf Nureyev’s version of “The Sleeping Beauty,” Solor in Natalia Makarova’s “La Bayadere” and Albrecht in Peter Wright’s “Giselle.”

Osborne teamed with several of the great ballerinas, including Cynthia Gregory, Natalia Makarova, Martine van Hamel, Carla Fracci and Veronica Tennant.

Osborne joined American Ballet Theatre in 1975. He worked with Mikhail Baryshnikov to create the role of Harlequin in “The Nutcracker,” which was later televised.

In 1983, he joined the National Ballet of Canada as principal dancer. He left in 1990 to pursue a freelance career as a guest artist.

Osborne also appeared in the movies “I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can” with Jill Clayburgh and “The Turning Point” with Baryshnikov and Shirley MacLaine.

He is survived by his parents.

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