BroadwayWorld.com has just learned the sad news that Kevin Gray, who most recently was seen in New York at the 25th Anniversary Gala for The Phantom of the Opera, passed away suddenly of a heart attack last night at the young age of 55. Gray leaves behind his wife, Dodie Pettit, who he met while starring in Broadway's Phantom.
In 2011, Gray had begun as an associate professor of theatre at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford.
Prior to that, Kevin Gray recently starred as Scar in the National Tour of Disney's The Lion King, directed by Julie Taymor. Before that, Mr. Gray toured the United Kingdom as The King in The King and I, reprising his role from the Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein's classic, in which he became only the third actor in history to play the role on Broadway. Gray starred as Pontius Pilate in the Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and starred in Harold Prince's production of Showboat, as Gaylord Ravenal. He toured as the star of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night, and appeared as The Engineer in the Los Angeles and Toronto productions of Miss Saigon, receiving the Dora Mavor Moore (Canada's Tony Award) and Los Angeles Dramalogue awards for his performances. He appears on The Complete Miss Saigon, recorded in London. He was the youngest actor to play the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and on the U.S. National Tour, receiving The Carbonelle Award for his performance as The Phantom. Before that, he played Raoul in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and created the role of Valentin opposite John Rubinstein in the world premiere of the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Kevin first came to the attention of New York audiences for his portrayal of Kayama in the 1985 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, and subsequently was seen on Broadway as The Prince in Chu Chem and Off-Broadway in The Knife, written and directed by David Hare, and starring Mandy Patinkin and Mary Elizabeth Mastroantonio, and The Death of Garcia Lorca, directed by Carlos Jimenez, both at The New York Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he appeared Off-Broadway in The Young Playwright's Festival at Playwright's Horizons, and as Dominique in The Baker's Wife at the York Theatre, directed by Stephen Schwartz. He appeared in the pre-Broadway revival of Night of the Iguana starring Jean Moreau, Michael Moriarity, Eileen Brennan, and Roy Dotrice, and in Romance Language at the Mark Taper Forum with Frances Conroy, Concetta Tomei, and John Vickery. Other Regional credits include The Real Thingat The Portland Stage Company, Irma La Douce at The Goodspeed Opera House, and The Tempest, Macbeth, All's Well That Ends Well, and Richard III at The Boston Shakespeare Company. Mr. Gray also created the title roles in Dracula The Covenant at the Stonington Opera House, written by Mr. Gray and his wife Dodie Pettit, and Billie Brown's Colorados, directed by Paul Giovanni at The Mount Gretna Playhouse.