Broadway Actress Lynda Gravátt Dead at 77: 'I Loved You in Every Way,' Mourns Viola Davis

Viola Davis and director Kenny Leon were among those who mourned Lynda Gravátt's death on social media in recent days

<p>Mireya Acierto/WireImage</p> Lynda Gravátt on Nov. 16, 2015

Mireya Acierto/WireImage

Lynda Gravátt on Nov. 16, 2015

Lynda Gravátt, a longtime New York stage actress, has died. She was 77.

Her death was confirmed by the National Black Theatre in an Instagram post the organization shared on Saturday. Her son David Gravátt also told The Hollywood Reporter that she died last Friday in a New Brunswick, New Jersey hospital.

Gravátt, who was born in Harlem in 1946, held a lifelong career in the theater and made her Broadway debut at just 4 years old in The King and I, as multiple outlets reported. She also made several appearances on local New York television performing as a child and made a debut at Carnegie Hall by age 9, according to Playbill and the National Black Theatre's obituaries.

She graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1971 and acted in a number of off-Broadway productions over the years, including the plays The Old Settler, Crowns, Intimate Apparel, Miss Witherspoon, The Little Foxes, Skeleton Crew and The House That Will Not Stand, per Playbill. On Broadway, she appeared as a standby in 2001's King Hedley II and starred in 45 Seconds from Broadway that same year. Her Broadway credits also include a starring role in the original cast of Doubt and an understudy role in 2008's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, per Playbill.

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<p>Randy Brooke/WireImage</p> Lynda Gravátt

Randy Brooke/WireImage

Lynda Gravátt

Gravátt also acted for the screen. She is credited with roughly 29 roles between 1986 and 2023 on IMDb, beginning with a role in the 1986 movie Good to Go. Aside from a starring role in the 1999-2000 Showtime drama The Hoop Life, she largely appeared in guest spots on television, with appearances in Sex and the City, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and most recently in two episodes of East New York. She also notably appeared in the 2017 Denzel Washington movie Roman J. Israel, Esq.

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Kenny Leon, the Tony Award-winning director, mourned Gravátt in a post he shared to Instagram. "The Greatness that will always Be….❤️Rest In Peace Lynda Gravatt- A most precious Actor 🙏🏿," he wrote in a caption to a photo he shared of Gravátt.

Leon's post appeared to be how Viola Davis learned of Gravátt's death. The Oscar winner commented: "Nooooo!!! Oh no!!! I loved you in every way. Great working with you, laughing with you, sharing your infinite wisdom. Rest well my friend. I love you❤️❤️"

<p>Donna Ward/Getty Images</p> Lynda Gravátt

Donna Ward/Getty Images

Lynda Gravátt

Davis, 58, also shared her own Instagram post mourning Gravátt. The Academy Award winner posted multiple photos of herself and the elder actress to the social media platform. "Greatness. That's what you will be...great heart, great actress, great friend," Davis wrote in a caption. "I will love you forever. Rest well Lynda Gravatt ❤️❤️❤️"

Gravátt is survived by her sons David and Oge, grandchildren Josephine, Lucas, Ishmale, Ishana and Isabella and her sister, documentary filmmaker June Cross, as THR reported.

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