LES MISERABLES Cast Member Kyle Jean-Baptiste Dies at 21
BroadwayWorld.com is devasted to report the news that Les Miserables cast member Kyle Jean-Baptiste died last evening at the too young age of 21 after an accident at home, falling off his mother's fire escape.
Update Sunday, August 30th: VIDEO: Watch Ramin Karimloo's Touching Curtain Call Tribute to Kyle Jean-Baptise & Read A Statement from Kyle's Family - CLICK HERE.
Baldwin Wallace University Students Launch Kyle Jean-Baptise Scholarship Fundraiser? CLICK HERE
LES MISERABLES Cast to Honor Kyle Jean-Baptiste in Central Park on Monday? CLICK HERE
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, loved ones and castmates.
The company has just released a statement to BroadwayWorld.com, telling us that "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. We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time."
LES MISERABLES history was made earlier this month when the 21-year-old African-American actor went on as Jean Valjean.
Jean Valjean understudy Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who usually played Constable and Courfeyrac, was not only the youngest Jean Valjean to appear on Broadway, but he is also the first African American one to do so. Besides making history, Jean-Baptiste fulfilled a personal goal.
"Today I go on as my dream role," he tweeted on the night. "No words. Guna remember this night."
A recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace, Jean-Baptiste also recently portrayed Enjorlas in Idaho Shakespeare Festival's Les Miserables. Regionally, he appeared in a number of shows including THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Idaho Shakespeare/ Great Lakes Theater Fest), MURDER BALLAD THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LOVE STORY THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LES MISERABLES, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and MUSIC MAN (New London Barn).
"RED:THE BLOOD OF ANGRY MEN
BLACK:OUR BWAY JEAN VALJEAN
RED:MAKE HISTORY AGAIN
BLACK:THE BARRICADE LIVES ON
The young star later performed with Miranda during the HAMILTON #HAM4HAM lottery show, with video available here.
Jean-Baptiste concluded by tweeting his appreciation to his fans, "Thank you for all the love ! Last night was one of the best nights of my life. Thanks to all who came. C U at the barricade @LesMizBway."
Writing on his web site, Kyle revealed how he found his passion and entered the world of musical theatre. "If you would of asked me what I wanted to be growing up I'd have said a cardiologist. I grew up in Brooklyn New York and had always sung, but never took it seriously. I decided to audition for Fiorello LaGuardia for vocal performance and got in(miracle) and the rest was history. 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. Acting and singing have become an extension of who I am, and I strive to use my gift to influence and inspire others. I am now shooting for the stars and trying to reach my goal of becoming the best stage and screen actor that I can be."