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article imageKyle Jean-Baptiste, 'Les Mis' actor who made history, dies at 21

By Alexa Spieler     Aug 30, 2015 in Entertainment
New York - Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the youngest person and first African-American to play Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” on Broadway, passed away after falling from a fire escape, according to one of the show's spokesmen. Jean-Baptiste was 21-years-old.
Kyle Jean-Baptiste died on Friday, August 28 shortly after Les Misérables evening performance at the Imperial Theatre, according to representative Marc Thibodeau and The Star. Thibodeau also said that it was a "tragic accident."
“The entire Les Misérables 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, Thibodeau said and continued, "We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time,” a statement from the production reads."
Jean-Baptiste made his Broadway debut this summer in the role of Jean Valjean, who is the protagonist in Les Misérables. Jean-Baptiste was an ensemble member and an understudy for Jean Vajean. The show is the longest running musical in the world and Thursday, August 27 was Jean-Baptiste's final show, according to The Huffington Post.
Before his final performance, Jean-Baptiste took to Instagram to comment on his experience taking on the role and his general experience of performing in the musical. "Today is my last performance as Valjean on Broadway,” Jean-Baptiste said and continued, “What an incredible experience. I’ve learned and grown so much. Grateful for the people I’ve met and this opportunity. I will never forget it. Dedicating this performance to someone special to me. They know who they are. Also sending love to everyone who supported me. Family friends etc. Until next time.”
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