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Clifton Oliver, ‘Lion King’ Broadway Actor, Passes at 47

Clifton Oliver, ‘Lion King’ Broadway Actor, Passes at 47

Clifton Oliver, who is best known as starring on Broadway as Simba in “The Lion King,” has passed away on August 2, 2023, at age 47.

His Life

Oliver was born on December 3, 1975, in Jacksonville, Florida, according to Playbill.

He attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, performed in regional theater, and in 2010, he moved to New York to pursue a career on Broadway.

His first production was “Wicked,” where he performed in the ensemble, and also as the understudy for Fiyero. He also played the role of Benny in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” Broadway musical, alongside Jordin Sparks.

Oliver first performed as Simba in the Las Vegas production of “The Lion King,” in 2000.

He would go on to play Simba in the musical’s national tour, and finally he made it to Broadway as Simba performing in the show until August 2011.

He did several Off-Broadway shows, and national tours after “The Lion King,” including “Dreamgirls” and “Motown the Musical.”

To honor his legacy, the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City will dim its lights on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, at 5pm ET.


His sister Roxy announced his passing in a Facebook post:

“My baby brother, Clifton Oliver, has had his final curtain call. It was peaceful…He impacted the lives of people throughout the world as he showcased his amazing talent, kind soul, and loving spirit to EVERYONE he met! He will be missed, but never forgotten! He lives within all of us! As the song goes in one of his most prominent roles of Simba in the Lion King on Broadway, He Lives In Me!”

The official Instagram for “The Lion King” on Broadway also posted about Oliver’s passing:

“Today, our Pride joins in remembering the legacy of the late Clifton Oliver, who shared his talents and light with audiences across Broadway, Las Vegas, and our North American tour from 2000-2011.”