Jeffrey Stephen Carlson, 48, of Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood passed away July 6.
He was both an accomplished Broadway actor and esteemed classical performer, as well as a dedicated teacher of Shakespeare, who leaves behind a legacy of unforgettable performances. Jeffrey was also one of the first actors to portray a transgender character on daytime television, with his portrayal of Zoe on All My Children.
Born in Long Beach, California on June 23, 1975, Jeffrey's talented career in the arts took him from television and film to Broadway, with his finally teaching at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Upon graduating from Juilliard's prestigious Drama Division, and training at the University of California at Davis as well as the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Jeffrey went straight to Broadway, where he is remembered for his electrifying performances in The Goat, Tartuffe and Taboo. Onscreen, he appeared in Hitch, Backseat, The Killing Floor, and All My Children.
Beyond his Broadway appearances, Jeffrey was a leading classical actor of his generation. His portrayals of Romeo, Hamlet, Iachimo, Mercutio and Richard II, among others at top classical theaters around the world received the commendation of audiences and critics alike.
Jeffrey played Prince Hal in "Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater before that production was subsequently transferred to the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The Guardian described him as "a star in the making."
Jeffrey also originated roles in many new works by leading playwrights of the day including Edward Albee, Itamar Moses, Lee Blessing, Sarah Ruhl and Terrance McNally. He carried his love for Shakespeare beyond the stage into the classroom, where he was a much beloved teacher in the Chicago theater community. His many students remember him as a transformative mentor, advocate and friend.
Jeffrey was kind and gentle, and adored his family and friends so much.
He was the cherished son of Stephen Trent and Susan Lynn Carlson (nee Dufford) and the loving brother of Christopher (Freshta) Carlson, Elizabeth (Chris) Gingras and the late Gregory Carlson; proud uncle of Blake Andrews, Avery Andrews, Jameson Gingras, Tyler Gingras and Leah Gingras; and beloved grandson of Sandra Lee Williams (the late David Williams), and Donald Dufford, Mary Germaine Carlson and Delwin Edward Carlson. Jeffrey also leaves behind his cherished pup Aspen.
An interview with Jeffrey is at www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/NUNN-ON-ONE-THEATER-Jeffrey-Carlson-for-good-Measure/41998.html .
Celebrations of life are being planned in Chicago and California. For information, contact email@example.com . Arrangements are by Inclusive Funeral Care, 773-318-1305 or www.InclusiveFuneralCare.com .