- Oliver died on Wednesday after a long illness
- His sister said he had been in the hospital and then hospice care over the past six weeks
- In addition to starring on Broadway, he had roles in major touring productions
Clifton Oliver, a stage veteran who starred in Broadway productions of The Lion King, Wicked and In The Heights, died Wednesday at age 47.
He had been suffering from a long illness at the time of his death, which was announced on social media by his friends and family.
In announcing his tragic death, his sister Roxy Hall said Oliver had first been hospitalized and then transferred to hospice for the last six weeks of his life.
‘My little brother Clifton Oliver has had his final curtain call,’ she began her emotional Facebook post, adding that his death was ‘peaceful’.
“His partner Richard sang Psalm 23 to him when he took his last breath this morning at 3.20am,” she continued.
‘My heart is sad and overjoyed at the same time! I will miss him, but he is finally at peace!’ Hall gushed. ‘He brought so much light to this world! He brought so much light to my life!
‘He impacted the lives of people all over the world as he showed his amazing talent, kind soul and loving spirit to EVERYONE he met!’ she wrote, adding: ‘He will be missed but never forgotten!’
Oliver came from Jacksonville, Florida, where he was a student at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.
He later moved to New York to pursue his passion for acting in 2010.
Oliver had roles in perennial Broadway hits right from the start, including an ensemble role in Wicked, where he also served as the understudy for the character Fiyero, according to Playbill.
It was a big year for the rising star as he also played the role of Benny in In The Heights, with Jordin Sparks playing his love interest Nina in that production.
Both were replacements after the original cast had moved on.
One of Oliver’s other high-profile roles was as the adult Simba in the theatrical version of The Lion King.
He began playing the role in the musical’s Las Vegas production before joining the national touring production and eventually graduating to the Broadway version of the show in 2011.
Oliver was also a fixture in Off-Broadway plays, including Bella: An American Tall Tale and Miracle Brothers.
He got a chance to show off his impressive musical skills in touring productions of Dream Girls and Motown The Musical, starring as Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Oliver is survived by his partner Richard, as well as his sister Roxy and his brothers Eddie and Johnathan Oliver.