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Jeffrey Carlson, celebrated theater actor and All My Children star, dies at 48

Carlson’s role on the soap marked the first time a daytime serial had chronicled the coming-out saga of a transgender character.

Jeffrey Carlson, the All My Children actor known for his groundbreaking role as one of the first trans characters on daytime television, has died. He was 48.

The news was shared by Time Out New York theater critic Adam Feldman. A cause of death was not given at the time.

Born in Long Beach, California in 1975, Carlson was a Juilliard graduate who enjoyed a lengthy stage career. He also trained at the University of California at Davis and the Guthrie Theatre. Carlson’s Broadway credits include TabooTartuffe, and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? Onscreen, he appeared in HitchBackseat the The Killing Floor but his most notable role was on All My Children

Carlson, who has starred on the daytime soap since 2006, first appeared as a male-presenting musician by the name of Freddie Luper, who used Zarf as a stage name. The character later came out as a transgender lesbian named Zoe. The storyline marked the first time a daytime serial had chronicled the coming-out saga of a transgender character.

At the time, All My Children executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers said in a statement that the series «has a long standing commitment to telling socially relevant stories that entertain and inform. Viewers can expect a heartfelt story between two people who share a common ground, yet learn about inherent differences and understanding. At its core, this is a story of acceptance and love.»

In a Facebook tribute post for Carlson, the Shakespeare Theatre Company wrote, «STC is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Jeffrey Carlson. Jeffrey gave beautiful and nuanced performances during [his] career which took him from television and film to Broadway and, fortunately for us, to STC.» The post also recognizes Carlson for memorable turns in the company’s 2005 production of Lorenzaccio, 2007’s Hamlet, 2008’s Free For All, and 2016’s Romeo and Juliet.

By dPrimeramano

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