A rising young Broadway star, Kyle Jean-Baptiste, has died after a fall from a fire escape. The 21-year-old was the youngest and only African-American actor to play Jean Valjean in 'Les Miserables' on Broadway.
Broadway star Kyle Jean-Baptiste has died at the age of 21. Baptiste made history in July of this year by becoming the first African-American to be cast as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. He was also the youngest actor to play the role on Broadway.
Will And Grace actor Debra Messing was amongst those to mourn Baptiste.
Baptiste died after falling from a fire escape on Friday (28th August). Baptiste had just performed on stage as Valjean, marking his Broadway debut. As NY Daily News reports, Baptiste was an understudy for Valjean and, when he wasn’t going on in the role, had appeared as Constable and Courfeyrac.
His tragic death has been confirmed by the production company behind Les Misérables and they issued a public statement after the news broke. The statement, available on Facebook, reads:
‘The entire Les Misérables family is shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle, a remarkable young talent and tremendous person who made magic - and history - in his Broadway debut. We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time.’
A number of Baptiste’s celebrity fans have mourned his passing on social media. Singer Josh Groban and actor Debra Messing are amongst those to have send their condolences to Baptiste’s family.
‘He was just getting started. So sad. My condolences as well to family and cast,’ Groban wrote on Twitter.
‘This is so unspeakably tragic,’ Messing also wrote. ‘Thinking of his family and all who loved him.’
Jean-Baptiste was born in Brooklyn and was cast in Les Misérables shortly after graduating from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.
Contactmusic send their condolences to Kyle Jean-Baptiste’s family and colleagues at this sad time.