Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Actor Who Made History in Broadway’s ‘Les Misérables …

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Les Miserables’ cast member Kyle Jean-Baptiste dies at 21 after fall from fire escape.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, an actor who recently made his Broadway debut in the current revival of Les Miserables, died Friday evening after falling from a fire escape at his mother’s home in New York.

Jean-Baptiste was an understudy for the role but finally made his history-making debut as Valjean – played by Hugh Jackman in the film version – on 23 July. Jean-Baptiste made history on July 23, when he went on as Jean Valjean in the Broadway revival — the youngest actor and first African-American to have performed the role on Broadway. “The entire ‘Les Misérables’ family is shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle,” the production said, in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time.” Many members of the Broadway community took to Twitter to express their grief. “What a light,” “Hamilton”creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said. “My love and hugs to his family, and the cast of ‘Les Miserables’” Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth said. “Today we lost a great talent,” current Jean Valjean Ramin Karimloo said. “Today I lost a friend.

His infectious smile could brighten anyone’s day,” said Kotzen, who was stunned at the news. “Getting thrown into the world of musical theatre was terrifying and at first I didn’t know if I could handle it, but through hard work and perseverance it all came together. My condolences as well to family and cast.” Jean-Baptiste was a recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace; prior to Broadway he had appeared in a number of regional theater productions, including Les Miserables, Murder Ballad, Singin’ in the Rain and The Music Man.

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