Broadway lost a rising star Friday as 21-year-old Kyle Jean-Baptiste passed away after falling off his mother’s fire escape.
According to Vibe, Baptiste made history as the first African-American to play main character Jean Valjean in the iconic Les Miserables Broadway play.
Broadway World confirmed Jean-Baptiste’s passing saying:
“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.”
In addition to being the first African-American actor to play Valjean, Jean-Baptiste was also the youngest. He was scheduled to join the Broadway production of The Color Purple in September.