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Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who made history as the first Black actor to play the lead role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway musical Les Misérables, died in a fall last Friday in New York. Jean-Baptiste was also the youngest actor to ever take on the role as well, and he was set for larger roles in the coming year.

As reported by Broadway World, the actor’s company issued a statement regarding the 21-year old Jean-Baptiste’s passing, which occurred by way of an accidental fall from a fourth-floor fire escape at his mother’s apartment in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.

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The company has just released a statement to BroadwayWorld.com, telling us that “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.”

LES MISERABLES history was made earlier this month when the 21-year-old African-American actor went on as Jean Valjean.

Jean Valjean understudy Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who usually played Constable and Courfeyrac, was not only the youngest Jean Valjean to appear on Broadway, but he is also the first African American one to do so. Besides making history, Jean-Baptiste fulfilled a personal goal.

“Today I go on as my dream role,” he tweeted on the night. “No words. Guna remember this night.”

A recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace, Jean-Baptiste also recently portrayed Enjorlas in Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s Les Miserables. Regionally, he appeared in a number of shows including THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Idaho Shakespeare/ Great Lakes Theater Fest), MURDER BALLAD THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LOVE STORY THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LES MISERABLES, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and MUSIC MAN (New London Barn).

Our condolences to family and friends of Jean-Baptiste. Rest in power.

Photo: Instagram

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