This week, Disney’s Award winning smash hit The Lion King – Musical celebrated it’s 20th Roaring year on the Great White Way. Not only the show continues to play to packed houses every night on Broadway, in London’s West End, and around the world, all companies (and alumni) continue to pay their respects to an amazing talent which this show became his breakout performance. That talent was Jason Raize, who originated the role of “Simba” on Broadway.
Upstate New York born Jason Raize was an incredible singer and actor who brought down the house 8 times a week (when the show was playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre) singing one of the most powerful songs created for the stage show, Simba’s big 11:00 number ENDLESS NIGHT. He stayed with the production for 3 years before heading off to LA to develop a solo career. Raize filmed a concert for Disney Channel (alongside Jessica Simpson) in 2000 in promotion of his debut album NYC that was to be released from Universal Records but the album was never released.
He later went on to appear in Numerous films including voicing “Denahi” in the Disney movie Brother Bear and TV shows including his own Animal themed TV show Keeping it Wild with Jason Raize.
In addition, Raize was an incredible philanthropist co-producing benefit concerts for refugees from Kosovo and also was appointed Raize a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations.
However, his life took a dark turn at a time he was dealing with depressions In February 2004, Raize hung himself on a Farm property in Australia at only 28 years old in February 2004.
A memorial service for Raize was held at the New Amsterdam Theatre (which was his home for 3 years as “Simba”) in April 2004 featuring speeches from Jason’s family, friends, LION KING family, and more.
If he was still alive today, he would have continued to amaze us even more on Broadway, Film, and TV. Check out the following article of what people have predicted what Jason would have been amazing in if he were alive today.
We miss you Jason!!! RIP
HE STILL LIVES IN US!!!
Jason Raize should be starring on Broadway as George Washington in Hamilton right now. He should have a couple Tony nominations under his belt and maybe even a win. He should have been a regular fixture on shows like Law & Order: SVU or Blue Bloods. At the age of 41, he should be one of 42nd Str
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