Broadway star Kyle Jean-Baptiste mourned in Central Park (VIDEO)

Posted on September 1, 2015 /Broadway, Theater


Several hundred mourners gathered in Central Park on Monday to celebrate the life of Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the history-making actor who died August 28 after falling from a fire escape. He was the first black actor to play Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway.

Jean-Baptiste will also be honored at the Imperial Theatre on Tuesday evening when they dim their lights after the evening performance of Les Miserables. Despite the Broadway community rallying for all theaters to dim their lights in memory of the history-making actor, the Broadway League declined to extend him that honor. It’s believed that the tradition of dimming the lights are usually extended to people who are considered “legends” in the theater world.

Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, issued the following statement:

“We mourn the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle Jean-Baptiste, an immensely talented actor who followed his dreams that led to playing the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on Broadway. He was a rising star who graced our stage for too short a time, but his historic achievements and what he represents for the future will be remembered and honored when the Imperial Theatre dims its lights on Tuesday evening following the show. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.