Lynda Gravátt, Acclaimed Broadway and Television Actress, Dies at 76

The award-winning actress appeared in several productions on stages in New York and played a pivotal role in the Washington D.C., theater community.

Lynda Gravátt, an acclaimed actress known for her appearances on the Broadway stage and several roles on television, has passed away, according to The Hollywood Reporter. David Gravátt, her son, confirmed that she passed away on Friday at a hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. No cause of death has been given.

Born in Harlem on May 24, 1947, Gravátt’s father was James “Stump” Cross, a comedian and tap dancer, although adoptive parents raised her. She debuted at age 4 in the original Broadway production of "The King and I," starring alongside Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence. By the time she was 9, Gravátt had performed in recitals at Carnegie Hall.

After relocating to Maryland, Gravátt attended Fairmont Heights High in Capitol Heights and matriculated at Howard University, where she graduated in 1971. 

Amassing numerous stage credits, she appeared in “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Crowns, Miss Witherspoon,” “The Little Foxes,” “Skeleton Crew,” “The House That Will Not Stand,” and many more. In 2018, she made her final theater appearance in“The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d,” at The Duke in New York.

In television, she appeared in the Law & Order franchise, “The Good Wife,” and the 1999 Showtime series “The Hoop Life.” She had roles in “Sex and the City,” “30 Rock,” “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary,” “Ramy,” and “East New York.”

Director's Cut: Behind The Curtain With Theater Legend Kenny Leon

Gravátt played an important role in the theater community in Washington, D.C.  She was a founding member of Robert Alexander’s Living Stage in D.C. As an acting teacher, she was a founding faculty member at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington and taught at Howard and Rutgers University.

Oscar winner Viola Davis, one of Gravátt's biggest fans, paid tribute to her on social media.

"Greatness. That's what you will be...great heart, great actress, great friend....I will love you forever. Rest well Lynda Gravatt," her post read.

Gravátt is survived by her sons, David and Oge; her grandchildren, Josephine, Lucas, Ishmale, Ishana, and Isabella; and her half-sister, Peabody Award-winning documentarian June Cross.

We extend prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Lynda Gravátt.

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