Michelle Nicastro Passes Away at 50

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BroadwayWorld.com has learned from her longtime friend and record producer Bruce Kimmel that Michelle Nicastro has passed away at the age of 50 from cancer.

She provided the voice of Princess Odette in The Swan Princess and its sequels, The Swan Princess II: Escape from Castle Mountain and The Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Kingdom, and the singing voice of Callisto for the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "The Bitter Suite".

She was the original Eponine in the Los Angeles production of Les Misérables (known as the Fantine Company) in 1988 and appeared on Broadway in Merlin as Ariadne as well as on the studio cast recordings of Masada, Pardon My English and Lady, Be Good!.

She also had guest starring roles in Airwolf and Knight Rider. She appeared, briefly, as the college sweetheart of Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally. In 1996 she played Snow White in Coach episode "Grimmworld" as the girlfriend of Michael "Dauber" Daubinski (Bill Fagerbakke). Nicastro also had a small role in Full House as Roxanne.

Nicastro has recorded four albums released on the Varese Sarabande label. Two albums, Toonful and Toonful Too feature songs from animated musicals, Reel Imagination features songs from family musicals, and On My Own features songs from contemporary Broadway musicals, including her version of On My Own.

Bruce Kimmel told us that "Michelle Nicastro was one of the dearest, warmest, kindest people I've ever known. Add to that one of the most talented and you had pure magic. We did four albums together and she appeared on numerous others that I did, as well as various events we did together. I loved her so much, and doing those four solo albums were some of the best times I've ever had - especially the first, Toonful - her beautiful daughter had just been born and she was nursing her between takes - it was so special and so was she. I will miss her."

We talked to Richard Jay-Alexander who directed her in West Coast premiere production of Les Miserables as Eponine and he said "I can't believe it, but once again my hat goes off to Facebook and social networking as it put us back in touch over the last couple of years. Michelle Nicastro had one of the most beautiful voices that I ever heard - seamless with bell-like clarity, who gave a stunning portrayal of Eponine. Eponine is described in the novel by Victor Hugo as an angel with a dirty face and she filled his description to a 't' and also fully filled the musical dreams that Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer had created for this character on the stage. May she rest in peace and my heart and prayers are with her husband, children and her family. They must have been so proud of her and I'm sure that she put up a brave fight. I'm very sad today."

Michelle leaves behind a husband and two children. She also founded trulymom.com

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