Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who held the distinction of being Broadway's first African-American to play a lead role in Les Miserables, died on Friday in a freak accident in New York. He was 21.
According to websites, Jean-Baptiste passed away after falling from a fire escape. "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," a statement issued by Broadway World read.
Jean-Baptiste debuted in the iconic Les Miserables role on July 23 and had just ended his run on August 25. He played the constable and Courfeyrac and was also the understudy for the lead role of Jean Valjean — what he termed as his 'dream role.'
He was thrilled about his debut as what Twitter dubbed #blackValjean on July 23, stepping into the character while leading man Ramin Karimloo was on vacation.