Out actor Gary Beach, who won a Tony for his role in the Broadway production of The Producers, died Tuesday at age 70 in Palm Springs, Calif., his agent confirmed. No cause of death was given, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A Broadway veteran, Beach earned the theater’s most prestigious award for originating the role of Roger DeBris in the 2001 megahit The Producers, based on the 1968 Mel Brooks film. He reprised the role for the 2005 movie of the musical that also starred Mathew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Beach’s DeBris famously goes on as Hitler in the purposefully offensive “Springtime for Hitler” number.
Prior to The Producers, Beach was perhaps best known for originating the role of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast in 1994, for which he earned a Tony nomination.
Born in Alexandria, Va., on October 10, 1947, Beach attended the North Carolina School of the Arts before landing his first Broadway gig in the original production of 1776. He went on to appear in Annie and Doonesbury. He was nominated for yet another Tony for playing Albin in the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles. In 2006, he played Thenardier in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables, according to Playbill.
Beach also appeared on Will & Grace, Queer as Folk, and The John Larroquette Show as well as several other TV shows.
He is survived by his husband, Jeff Barnett.