Kyle Jean-Baptiste Dead At 21: Celebrities Mourn History-Making ‘Les Miserables’ Star
Kyle Jean-Baptiste, a 21-year-old actor who made Broadway history last month, died on Friday in a tragic accident. Celebrities are now taking to Twitter to mourn the shocking loss.
Jean-Baptiste, who was cast in the Les Miserables revival fresh out of college, became an overnight sensation in July when he was the youngest and first-ever African-American actor to play Jean Valjean on the Broadway stage. Les Miserables also marked his Broadway debut, and he had been performing in the show as recently this week. But after Friday’s show, Jean-Baptiste fell from a fire escape outside his mom’s apartment, and died from his injuries.
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.”
Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth tweeted, “RIP Kyle Jean-Baptiste. My love and hugs to his family. And the cast of @LesMiserables.” Josh Groban commented, “He was just getting started. So sad. My condolences as well to family and cast.” “#GoneTooSoon RIP #KyleJeanBaptiste,” said Frances Fisher, while Debra Messing wrote, “This is so unspeakably tragic. Thinking of his family and all who loved him.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson also posted on Twitter, “R.I.P. Kyle Jean-Baptiste. Gone way too soon. All my thoughts & prayers are with his family & the cast of @LesMizBway.” Ricki Lake simply said, “Gone too soon.” And Ansel Elgort movingly shared, “I played opposite Kyle Jean-Baptiste in hairspray in highschool at Laguardia. What I remember most above his talent was his warmth to everyone.”
“He went on to make history being the first black actor to play Jean Valjean on Broadway in lesmiz. Rest in peace brother,” continued Elgort. “This tragedy shows that people can go in an instant, while we are here we must chase our dreams. Kyle did and he made history.” There will be a tribute to Jean-Baptiste at the end of Saturday’s matinee performance. Gossip Cop’s thoughts are with Jean-Baptiste’s family and friends at this difficult time.