Tragic news from the world of daytime television:
Jeffrey Carlson, an actor who played the first transgender character on the soap opera All My Children, has passed away unexpectedly.
He was 48 years old.
The star’s death was first publicly announced by Time Out New York drama editor Adam Feldman.
“RIP Jeffrey Carlson, 48, edgy star of Broadway (Billy in The Goat, Marilyn in Taboo) and TV (innovative trans character Zoe in All My Children),” he tweeted on July 8.
“A powerful actor and a painful loss.”
Carlson, a graduate of the University of California Davis who also studied at the Juilliard School in New York City, made his Broadway debut in the 2002 play The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Carlson debuted on All My Children in August 2006 as a British rock star named Zarf, before returning to the show as Zoe.
Wrote actress Susan Hart shared on Facebook in the wake of this horrible development:
“For those of you who don’t know, I am very sorry to share the news that Jeffrey passed away yesterday.
“I have been respectful of his family’s privacy by not sharing the news sooner…couldn’t breathe or function either…still can’t…love everyone…just devastated.”
“They signed me as a day player but then they wrote me on the show. My parents were thrilled,” Carlton told the Chicago-based LGBTQ+ newspaper Windy City Times in 2013 of his role on All My Children.
“I had a meeting with the producer and they explained to me that they wanted to do the first male-to-female transgender story on daytime television.
“I asked him, ‘How are you going to do it?’ She said: ‘With dignity’”.
Eden Riegel, who played Zoe’s friend Bianca on All My Children, paid tribute to her late co-star on Twitter following the news of her death.
“Devastated beyond measure to learn of the passing of the beautiful and talented Jeffrey Carlson,” the actress wrote.
“I feel lucky to have called this kind soul a friend and to see his brilliant work up close. Gone too soon: an unimaginable loss. I love you Jeffrey. Rest my friend.”
The cause of death has not been announced at this time.
“I was very moved,” Carlson told the Los Angeles Times of the story in 2006. “If it creates a conversation, I think we’ve done our job.”
The arc earned All My Children a GLAAD Media Award for Best Daily Drama in 2007… while Carlson ended his run on the ABC soap opera later that year before returning to theater work.
May Jeffrey Carlson rest in peace.