Friday, American actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, a 21-year-old who made Broadway history last month, died in a tragic accident.
- Kyle Jean-Baptiste died after falling from a fire escape in Brooklyn.
According to report, Police say Jean-Baptiste fell from the fourth-floor fire escape of an apartment on Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant early Saturday morning, he was sitting on the fire escape with a 23-year-old female friend when he stood up, he accidentally slipped and fell backward to the street below, the fire escape was at his mother’s apartment.
Jean-Baptiste was African American, and the son of Haitian Serge Jean-Baptiste and nephew of Marie Jean-Baptiste.He had a sister, Kelsey, with whom he was close.He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, where he was acquainted with actor Ansel Elgort. The two appeared together in a high school performance of Hairspray.
After high school, Jean-Baptiste attended Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.During his senior showcase, he sang a selection from the musical Once, followed by “Glory” from the film Selma. He was a tenor.During the showcase, he was spotted by Les Miserables casting directors.The day after graduation, they asked him to join the cast.
In a statement, the Les Miserables company says, “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.”
Regional shows American actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste performed in included Singin’ in the Rain, The Music Man, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.In 2014, he played the role of Enjolras in a production of Les Misérables at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
In the Broadway version of Les Misérables, American actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste was originally playing the roles of the Constable and Courfeyrac. He made his first appearance as Jean Valjean on July 23, 2015, after moving up from understudy to Ramin Karimloo while the latter was on vacation. With his appearance, Jean-Baptiste became the first African American and the youngest person to ever portray the character on Broadway. His last show was August 27, 2015. Prior to the accident, Jean-Baptiste had tweeted his fans “I thank everyone who supported me and still does. I will never forget this experience. Onwards and upwards. Nothing but love.”
American actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste was slated to appear with Jennifer Hudson in the Broadway rendition of The Color Purple later in 2015.IMAGE/TWITTER