Breast cancer has taken the life of talented Broadway actress Jennifer Rae Beck.
According to her obituary on Broadway World, Rae Beck suffered a “recurring and long-term battle” with breast cancer. She was only 44 years old and died on Aug. 8.
She leaves behind a husband, Ian Owen-Ward, and three children.
Rae Beck‘s theater credits were impressive. She played the lovesick Eponine in the Third National Touring Company production of Les Miserables. Jennifer reprised her role for the Asian premiere of Les Miz, and a Los Angeles staging, Variety reported.
She also played Peron’s mistress in Evita, where she starred on a national tour, and had a role in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. According to her IMDB profile, she made her debut on in that musical at only 18 years old.
She also spent a bit of time on TV, with a handful of roles on Law & Order, One Life to Live, and Conviction.
Perhaps one of her more famous roles was her 1993 part in the TV movie version of the musical Gypsy, which also starred Bette Midler.
The actress was also a businesswoman. In 2007, she opened a vintage store in New Jersey called Chalk Farm Home, which continued on as an online business when she moved to Westlake, California. The store also had a presence on Etsy.
A biography on the store’s web site, which hasn’t yet been updated to reflect Jennifer’s premature death, described her as a long-time resident of Manhattan who decided to open her own shop after years as a passionate tag sale and flea market shopper. Her shop has been very successful, attracting celebrity clientele and customers all over the world. Rae Beck also had a talent for styling and photography work, according to this bio, and was featured in several magazines.
Jennifer’s sudden death has led to an outpouring of grief and condolences on Twitter, with fans and colleagues in the theater world expressing grief and remember her for her talent and charm.
This just hit hard. I can still hear your laugh, Jen. Dream now Obituary: Jennifer Rae Beck Dies After Cancer Battle http://t.co/djuueu5XXH— Peter Lockyer (@Peter_Lockyer) August 9, 2015
The passing of Jennifer Rae Beck has affected us all in the Les Miz community but her lovely spirit will live on forever. R.I.P Love always.— Raegan Kotz (@KotzRaegan) August 11, 2015
So very sad to hear about the death of Jennifer Rae Beck. Broadway lost a great stage performer, singer, actress, beautiful person today.— melsmom38 (@melsmom38) August 19, 2015
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]