(Liam Stack’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/29.) 

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the first African-American actor to play the iconic lead role of Jean Valjean in the popular Broadway musical“Les Misérables,” died on Friday after falling from a fire escape in Brooklyn. He was 21.

Mr. Jean-Baptiste was an ensemble performer and an understudy for the role of Valjean, said Marc Thibodeau, a spokesman for the production. In addition to being the first African-American actor to play the role, he was also the youngest. 


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