Jeffrey Carlson’s Cause of Death: “All My Children” Actor Dies at 48

Jeffrey Carlson, Who Played All My Children’s Revolutionary Transgender Character Zoe, Died at 48. What was his cause of death?

Jeffrey Carlson’s Cause of Death

Jeffrey Carlson, the actor known for his groundbreaking portrayal of the transgender character Zoe in the daytime soap opera All My Children, has passed away at the age of 48. The news of his death was shared by his friend and fellow actor Susan Hart, who revealed that Carlson died on July 6. No cause of death has been disclosed.

Carlson’s Career

Jeffrey Carlson's Cause of Death

Born in California in 1975, Carlson was named after a character from All My Children as his mother was a fan of the show. He made appearances in over 50 episodes of the soap opera, starting in 2006. Initially introduced as a British rockstar named Zarf, Carlson was later brought back to the show when the writers decided to reintroduce the character as a transgender woman.

The character of Zoe underwent a detailed gender transition storyline, including meetings with an endocrinologist, joining a transgender support group, and coming out to her parents.

Zoe’s introduction as a recurring transgender character in a daytime soap opera was significant at the time, as there were limited portrayals of transgender characters on US television. The character stirred controversy and sparked debates among fans on message boards.

While soap audiences had become accustomed to gay characters, tackling the first transgender coming out on network television was seen as a risk for the soap opera during a period of declining viewership.

However, Carlson believed that Zoe’s story was meant to spark conversation. In an interview with People magazine, he mentioned that members of the transgender community were engaging with fans in All My Children chatrooms.

He also received a heartfelt letter from an 11-year-old girl expressing support and a sense of connection. Carlson expressed gratitude for the impact his character had on viewers, stating, “It’s cool you’re going to become a girl. Then we will have stuff in common.”

All My Children, which aired on ABC, ran for more than 10,000 episodes from 1970 until 2011.

In addition to his work on All My Children, Carlson had a presence on Broadway, playing notable roles such as Billy in Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? and Marilyn in Taboo. He also had minor roles in films, including the 2005 comedy Hitch starring Will Smith.

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Remembering Jeffrey Carlson

Following the news of Carlson’s passing, Adam Feldman, the theatre editor of Time Out New York, described him as an “exposed-nerve star of Broadway and TV” and expressed the loss felt by the industry. Carlson’s co-star from All My Children, Eden Riegel, expressed her devastation and praised his talent and friendship.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., remembered Carlson for his memorable performances in various productions. Quoting a line from Hamlet, the company paid tribute to the late actor: “Good night, sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

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