Kyle Jean-Baptiste, First Black Actor To Play Lead In ‘Les Miz’ On Broadway, Dies At 21
Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the youngest actor — and the first black actor — to play the lead role in a Broadway production of “Les Miserables,” died after a tragic fall from his mother’s fire escape Friday. He was 21.
Broadway World confirmed the news of his death, publishing a statement from Jean-Baptiste’s company that expressed condolences to his family.
“The entire LES MISERABLES 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,” the statement says. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time.”
The actor made his debut on Broadway this summer in the iconic role of Jean Valjean, the protagonist in “Les Miz,” the longest running musical in the world. Thursday was his final show.
“Today is my last performance as Valjean on Broadway,” he wrote on Instagram beneath a before-and-after picture of him in costume. “What an incredible experience. I’ve learned and grown so much. Grateful for the people I’ve met and this opportunity. I will never forget it. Dedicating this performance to someone special to me. They know who they are. Also sending love to everyone who supported me. Family friends etc. Until next time.”