Lawrence Clayton, who made his Broadway debut in Dreamgirls and went on to perform in a number of productions throughout the next few decades, has died. He passed away November 2 at the age of 64 after a two-year battle with glioblastoma cancer.
Representatives at Buchwald, where Mr. Clayton was a client for over 35 years, confirmed the news, remembering the performer as “a wonderfully talented actor and glorious singer.”
Mr. Clayton’s first Main Stem role was as a replacement for C.C. White in the Henry Krieger-Tom Eyen Motown musical at the Imperial Theatre. In the ‘90s, the performer appeared in The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club, Once Upon a Mattress, and The Civil War. His more recent Broadway credits included the 2001 revival of Bells Are Ringing and the 2015 revival of The Color Purple.
Mr. Clayton also appeared Off-Broadway in Romance in Hard Times, The Exception and the Rule, and Tapestry, among others. His national tour and regional credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz, and The Boy From Syracuse.
Born October 10, 1956, in Mocksville, North Carolina, Mr. Clayton attended North Carolina Central University and moved to NYC shortly after graduating to pursue a career in the arts. In addition to his stage credits, he appeared in TV shows including Pose and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Mr. Clayton is survived by his wife Linda—a teacher—and their son Matthew.