Popular Broadway performer Kevin Gray, who starred on Broadway in the title role in The Phantom of the Opera, passed away suddenly from a heart attack on February 11 in Hartford, Connecticut. Several obits listed his age at 55, but according to one bio, he would have celebrated his 55th birthday on February 25.
Gray first played Raoul in the Broadway production of Phantom before moving up to the title role in 1990, reprising his starring role on tour. He returned to the Majestic Theatre on January 26 as a guest at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Broadway production, accompanied by his wife, Phantom alum Dodie Pettit. Gray toured in the Andrew Lloyd Webber revue Music of the Night and starred in the symphony tour Three Phantoms in Concert alongside fellow alums Ted Keegan and Craig Schulman. He also performed concerts at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall.
A statement on the Phantom Facebook page said, in part, "We are truly saddened and shocked to have to report the passing of former Phantom star Kevin Gray. A former Raoul and Phantom, he was a beloved member of the Phantom family and the Broadway community. All of our hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to his beautiful wife Dodie Pettit, an original Broadway cast Ballerina. He was a true talent, teacher and gentleman who will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
Gray also starred in Broadway productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, The King and I and Chu Chem, national tours of The King and I and The Lion King, as well as productions of Show Boat and Miss Saigon. His off-Broadway credits included Pacific Overtures, The Knife and The Death of Garcia Lorca. Film and TV appearances include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, White Hot, The Equalizer and Miami Vice.
In addition to his performing career, Gray served as associate professor of theatre at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.