Groundbreaking Trans Character Actor Jeffrey Carlson Dies Aged 48

Jeffrey Carlson has died aged forty-eight years old.

Born in California in 1975, Carlson was a graduate of Julliard and enjoyed a lengthy stage career as well as on-screen roles.

However, the star was best known for his role in the American soap All My Children. He first appeared on the show as Freddie Luper, a male-presenting British musician who went by the nickname Zarf. The character later came out as a transgender lesbian named Zoe. Carlson’s role is considered groundbreaking as it was of the first ever transgender characters to come out on daytime television.

Per Entertainment Weekly, the show’s executive producer said that the show “has a long standing commitment to telling socially relevant stories that entertain and inform. Viewers can expect a heartfelt story between two people who share a common ground, yet learn about inherent differences and understanding. At its core, this is a story of acceptance and love.”

The Shakespeare Theatre Company shared their sadness at Carlson’s passing. In a statement, they wrote: “STC is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Jeffrey Carlson. Jeffrey gave beautiful and nuanced performances during [his] career which took him from television and film to Broadway and, fortunately for us, to STC.”

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