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Four-Time Tony Award-Winning Producer Was 63

Four-Time Tony Award-Winning Producer Was 63

Four-Time Tony Award-Winning Producer Was 63

Ron Simons, an actor and four-time Tony Award-winning producer, has died. He was 63.

His production company SimonSays Entertainment shared that Simons died Wednesday. His cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the unexpected passing of our beloved, blessed, and highly favored friend, Ronald Keith Simons. Funeral details will be forthcoming,” the production company wrote in a statement on Facebook.

Born on Nov. 30, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan, Simons didn’t initially pursue a career in acting and theater. After graduating from Columbia Business School in 1989 with an MBA in marketing and international business, he started his professional career at Microsoft as a product manager in San Francisco, California.

It wasn’t until years later, at 39 years old, that he decided to quit his job and follow his dreams in entertainment.

He got his MFA in acting from the University of Washington and eventually moved from California to New York, where he joined the Classical Theatre of Harlem and started booking guest roles in movies and TV shows.

Some of his onscreen credits throughout the years include Jonny Zero, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 27 Dresses, Gun Hill Road, Law & Order, The Defenders, Daredevil, The Resident and Then Came You.

However, Simons decided to branch out to producing when he wasn’t landing as many acting roles as he would have liked. He founded his production company SimonSays Entertainment in 2009.

His first producing job was on the 2010 film Night Catches Us, starring Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie. As for theater, he began with the 2012 revival of Porgy and Bess, starring Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis.

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Simons went on to co-produce several Broadway shows throughout his career, winning Tony Awards for Porgy and BessA Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and Jitney.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Simons decided to make another jump, this time to lead producer with 2021’s Thoughts of a Colored Man and the 2022 revival of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

“We are heartbroken to learn of our friend and former trustee Ron Simon’s passing,” Classical Theatre of Harlem shared in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family. Ron has left behind an unmatched legacy on Broadway and beyond. We will always remember his kindness and incredible talent that inspired so many.”

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