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Claim to Fame
Jesus Christ Superstar
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death
Profile Bio Text
Carl Anderson (February 27, 1945 – February 23, 2004) was an American singer, film and theatre actor best known for his Golden Globe Award nominated portrayal of Judas Iscariot in the Broadway and film versions of the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar. Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Anderson was one of 12 children of James and Alberta Anderson. During his junior year of high school, Anderson enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a communications technician for two years. He returned to Lynchburg to complete high school and graduate in 1965. With his honorable discharge, following high school, Anderson sang at military bases across America as part of the World Wide Air Force Talent Contest.
Anderson played the role of Judas in the pre-Broadway touring company`s production of Jesus Christ Superstar but was passed over for the initial 1971 Broadway production when producers opted for the more well-known Ben Vereen for the part, and was cast as an understudy. Although Anderson didn`t know it at the time, one of his most significant opportunities came when he took over the role from Vereen and performed it on Broadway and in Los Angeles when Vereen fell ill. After Vereen recovered, both actors took turns playing the role. Castmate and close friend Ted Neeley was performing in the tour as well, but – like Anderson – was cast as chorus and the Jesus understudy. Yvonne Elliman was also in the tour as Mary Magdalene. While performing in Los Angeles, Anderson was flown to London for a screen test. Two weeks later, he left that production to begin filming in Israel alongside Neeley and Elliman, who were cast for the main role and as Magdalene, respectively. The film, released in 1973 by director Norman Jewison, catapulted Anderson`s career with two Golden Globe nominations as "Most Promising Newcomer" and "Best Musical Actor". In 1997, Anderson performed on Broadway in an adaptation of William Shakespeare`s Twelfth Night called Play On! featuring the music of Duke Ellington, playing The Duke. Beginning in 1998, and in later years of his life, he reprised his role as Judas in Superstar to sold-out auditoriums around the world.
One of his later albums, Why We Are Here! was recorded at the Agape International Spiritual Center, then located in Santa Monica California. He continued to perform, with Linda Eder in a show called "Once in a Lifetime" produced by Eder`s then-husband Frank Wildhorn.
In 2002, a national tour of Superstar began with ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach playing Jesus, and Anderson once again as Judas. Bach received mixed reviews while Anderson was again praised. In April 2003, following a disagreement with the director, Bach was fired and replaced with Broadway star Eric Kunze, who was touring as a priest and a Jesus understudy. Anderson eventually left the show after being diagnosed with leukemia; he was replaced by Lawrence Clayton, who had appeared as Simon and understudied Judas in the previous national tour. Anderson lost his battle with leukemia on February 23, 2004. He was slated to reprise his role with Neeley for the "Farewell Tour" in 2006. Corey Glover, famous for being the lead singer of the band Living Colour, was cast for the tour`s Judas. Glover left the show on December 2008 and actor James Delisco became the tour`s Judas. The Leonard Cohen / Anjani song "Nightingale" from 2004 was made in his memory.
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Carl Anderson (February 27, 1945 – February 23, 2004) was an American singer, film and theatre actor best known for his portrayal of Judas Iscariot in the Broadway and film versions of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
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Carl Anderson died on 23rd February, 2004. His last relationship was with Peyton Hayslip, they were married for 6 years.
During his life he was married to Peyton Hayslip from 2002 to 2008 and Verónica Porche Ali from 1992 to 2004.
He also dated Kathleen McGhee-Anderson.
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