Actor Lawrence Clayton has passed away, his friends and family told Broadway World this week. Clayton, 64, had an illustrious career both on stage and on screen, though he is best known for roles on the Broadway stage. According to a report by Variety, Clayton died of glioblastoma — a rare form of brain cancer.
Clayton is survived by his wife, Linda and one son, Matthew. The family held a funeral service for him near their home in Orange, New Jersey, at Woody's Funeral Home. Clayton reportedly passed away on Nov. 2, after two years of battling with cancer. His co-stars and other colleagues in the industry sang his praises in the wake of his passing.
Clayton is well-known for Dreamgirls, the show where he made his Broadway debut in 1981, as a replacement in the role of C.C. White. He would go on to play the role in a touring company as he built his career throughout the decade. He would later become a TV star as well, with roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and As the World Turns. In more recent years, Clayton could be seen on shows like Homeland, Elementary and Pose.
Clayton came from Mocksville, North Carolina originally, where he grew up and attended college. As a young man, Clayton moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater, and eventually, his wish came true. On Broadway itself, he appeared in shows like The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club, One Upon a Mattress, The Civil War, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Bells are Ringing and The Color Purple.
Meanwhile, Clayton toured with shows like Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables. His off-Broadway credits include Romance in Hard Times, Tapestry: The Music of Carole King, Saturn Returns, Crowns and Damn Yankees.
Fans joined in the mourning for Clayton on social media this week, as news of his passing began to spread. One commented: "Very sad news my thoughts and prayers with his family," while another added: "2020 can just f— right off at this point. Another amazing talent gone."