MICHAEL JETER, American actor, died (b. 1952); a Tony- and Emmy Award-winning American actor, well known for his work on stage and screen. His woebegone look, extreme flexibility and high energy led Tommy Tune to cast him in the Off-Broadway Cloud 9 and, on Broadway, in a memorable role in the musical Grand Hotel, for which he won a Tony Award in 1990. Much of his film and television work specialized in playing eccentric, pretentious or wimpy characters like The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas andDrop Zone.
Although occasionally, Jeter was able to stay away from these kinds of roles for more appealing characters like Jurassic Park III and Open Range. He won an Emmy award in 1992 for his role in the television sitcom Evening Shade. He was also a favorite with younger audiences in his role as “Mr. Noodle’s brother Mr. Noodle” on Sesame Street from 2000 to 2003. The movie The Polar Express is dedicated to his memory. Jeter was an out gay man and for a time decided to retire from entertainment, but was eventually enticed back with roles on television and movies. He was diagnosed to be HIV-positive in 1997 and died from complications of that disease in 2003.