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Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste dies in tragic fall

Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste dies in tragic fall

Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste. | TWITTER / Kyle Jean-Baptiste

Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste died on Saturday in a tragic fire escape accident in Brooklyn.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste was known for being the first African-American actor to play the lead role of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" on Broadway. He died at age 21, according to the Gothamist.

In a Facebook post, the Les Miserables production team conveyed their shock and devastation at Kyle Jean Baptiste's tragic death. They described him as a "remarkable" actor who made his mark in the history of Broadway and performed magically.

"We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time," the production team said.

Jean-Baptiste's death came just six weeks after he debuted on Broadway as an understudy for the Les Miserables lead role. The young actor died after he fell from the fourth level of her mother's apartment on Greene Avenue. The Broadway star was sitting on the fire escape with a female friend at around 4:15 a.m. when he slipped and fell backward while trying to stand up, The New York Times reports.

Aside from being the understudy for the role of Jean Valjean, Jean-Baptiste was also known for his roles as Constable and Courfeyrac in Les Miserables. He first got the chance to portray the lead role when leading man Ramin Karimloo went on vacation. He was the youngest Jean Valjean actor in the history of Broadway, the report details.

The Broadway star died just a few days before he was supposed to join the play "The Color Purple" as an understudy for the male lead role. The said play stars Jennifer Hudson, the report adds.

Last week, Jean-Baptiste posted a series of statuses on Twitter announcing his "last Valjean" on Thursday. He called the experience "life changing" and unforgettable. The late actor also thanked everyone who supported him in that role.


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