Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste died on Saturday after falling from a four-storey fire exit at his apartment at 303 Green Avenue, New York. He was 21 and the first black American to play the role of Valjean in Broadway’s “Les Miserables.”
“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 production issued a statement as quoted by NDTV.
Various reports say the actor’s death was not suspicious as according to the police, Jean-Baptiste accidentally made the plunge around 4:15 a.m. At the time of his death, he was with a woman at the fire exit and was said to have “lost his balance.”
“It’s devastating. You don’t wish that on anybody—chasing the ambulance, knowing they can’t revive him,” said Serge Jean-Baptiste, his father who resides in the same building and responded to the scene as soon as he knew of the accident.
“I don’t have the words for it. Kyle was a lovely boy. His voice—he had a voice that would sing out,” said his aunt, Marie Jean-Baptiste, describing Kyle “like a second son,” as reported.
Saturday’s “Les Miserables” show was dedicated to Kyle as news of his death shocked the entire show cast.
“He was going to be a star. He had a lot of moxie. It’s a very sad day for us,” lamented Ramin Karimloo, a co-actor who played Jean Valjean last Saturday.