Broadway actor Clifton Oliver dies at 47

August 7, 2023
Robert Ayers

Clifton Oliver, the Broadway actor most known for his role in The Lion King, has died. He was 47. 

Roxy Hall, Oliver's sister, announced his passing Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, on her Facebook account.

"It was peaceful"

"My baby brother, Clifton Oliver, has had his final curtain call," Hall wrote, adding, "It was peaceful."

Hall continued, "His partner, Richard, was singing to him the song Psalm 23 as he took his last breath this morning at 3:20 AM. He had a Gorgeous smile on his Beautiful face!!"

"He went twirling into the afterlife ready to make his Grand Appearance as the Star of his Homecoming Celebration! My heart is sad, and overjoyed at the same time! I will miss him, but he is finally at peace!" Hall added.

Cause of death

The cause of Oliver's death has not been disclosed. But, Hall did reveal that, before his passing, Oliver had spent significant time in hospice care.

"I will value my time with him - the last six weeks of his life that I spent at his bedside in the hospital and then finally hospice," Hall wrote.

Remembering Oliver

From Jacksonville, Florida, Oliver would go on to attend the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts before moving to New York City in 2010. This is when his Broadway career began.

Playbill reports:

[On Broadway, Oliver] joined the ensemble of Wicked and served as an understudy for Fiyero. He also played the role of Benny in In the Heights alongside Jordin Sparks. Oliver also opened the Las Vegas production of The Lion King as Simba, a role he later played in the national tour and finally on Broadway in 2011.

It was for this role in The Lion King that Oliver really gained national recognition.

Oliver also performed in many Off-Broad productions. This includes roles in Miracle Brothers and Bella: An American Tall Tale, Dreamgirls, Motown the Musical, and The Wild Party.

Lights will be dimmed

The Lion King Instagram account commemorated Oliver with a post on Friday.

It reads:

“Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.” Today, our Pride joins in remembering the legacy of the late Clifton Oliver, who shared his talents and light with audiences across Broadway, Las Vegas, and our North American tour from 2000-2011. As we continue to honor his legacy, a dimming of the lights will occur at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, at 5PM EST.

Oliver is survived by his partner, Richard; his sister, Roxy Hall; and his brothers, Eddie Oliver and Johnathan Oliver.

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