Professional dancer “Dancing With the Stars” and new dad Val Chmerkovskiy took time out to dance on April 18.
Chmerkovskiy posted a lengthy tribute to the cameraman on his Instagram Stories.
“I had the greatest privilege of working with this man,” he wrote. “On a set full of alphas and stars, Hector was the one I always bragged about in terms of the show. “The guy has won more Emmys and awards than anyone here. The MJ of the steadicam.’ I speak for many dancers and choreographers on our show who have ever created anything. You always looked at Hector’s steadicam work to improve your performance.”
He added, “And during the weeks that you knew your routine just wasn’t up to scratch, you begged and pleaded for ‘more Hector, more consistency, please.’ This is a sad loss of a beautiful man. Always smiling, always grateful and just like his cinematography, as a person he always made the moment he was there that little bit better.”
Ramirez died on January 11, 2023, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 78 years old.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ramirez had esophageal cancer. He spent time working on Dancing With the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and Fail Safe. He also worked on the 2001 Super Bowl halftime show. According to the outlet, Ramirez received 74 Emmy nominations.
Ramirez’s wife Alma announced the news via Deadline on social media.
“Today I lost my husband, partner, friend, hero, protector, handyman and cinematographer,” Alma wrote. “So many memories over the 47 years of our marriage that my heart is broken and my world is so much smaller. He was larger than life, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and loved by so many friends. He touched so many lives. He is deeply missed. No more pain baby rest in peace and go tell your stories to all the angels in heaven.”
Chmerkovskiy welcomed his first child, a son, on January 10, 2023.
“Our world has changed forever,” the couple wrote alongside a picture of their hands intertwined with their baby’s fingers. “10/1/23.”
They did not reveal the baby’s name, although they previously revealed they were expecting a boy, and they later referenced the baby’s name in an Instagram post through an “R” necklace.
Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba took to Instagram on January 17, 2023 to post her tribute to Ramirez alongside a photo of herself and the quote, “The highest tribute to the dead is not sadness but gratitude ‘ is credited to Thorton Wilder.
“For the incredible Hector Ramirez… you were the smile I always loved to see on set,” she began. “From the first time I worked with you on @missamerica, when I dragged you around backwards (with @barrylather dragging Dave Eastwood) on the steady cams – you were always so respectful and kind.”
She went on to share that she was always on the lookout for Ramirez’s smile whenever he was there.