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Teen Broadway Actress Laurel Griggs Dead At 13 After Asthma Attack

Laurel Griggs had performed on Broadway, as well as in television and movies, before her passing.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Laurel Griggs Ig

Teenage Broadway actress Laurel Griggs has died at the age of 13 after succumbing to an asthma attack, authorities have confirmed.

Griggs died on Nov. 5 after suffering an asthma attack at her family’s home in Manhattan, New York, Page Six reports. Her father, Andy Griggs, said that it was a condition she’d had all her life and took medication to manage; she last had a serious attack three years ago.

On Tuesday evening, Grigg’s breathing became labored while she was doing her homework, according to the outlet. She was transported by police vehicle to Mount Sinai Hospital, with authorities performing CPR en route, but she was pronounced dead four hours later, the paper reports.

Griggs began her acting career at the age of 6, when she scored the role of Polly in the Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” working alongside notable names such as Scarlett Johansson, according to CNN. She went on to make a name for herself by portraying the role of Ivanka in the Broadway production of “Once” longer than any other actress, having remained in the role from 2013 to 2015, her IMDb profile states.

Griggs had also appeared in film and on television, acting in two episodes of “Saturday Night Live” and in the 2016 Woody Allen film “Café Society.”

Her father told CNN that she took her craft seriously.

“She was never complacent, always rehearsing moves and lines,” he said.

Her death shocked the musical theater community, with many taking to social media to share their memories of Griggs and their condolences for her family.

Actress Eliza Holland Madore, another young actress who played the role of Ivanka in “Once,” said in an Instagram tribute that Griggs was “always smiling.”

“I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of one of my Ivanka sisters. Laurel- you were always smiling and always made other people laugh,” she wrote. “I’m so incredibly grateful that I got to know you. You will never be forgotten, and we will never stop loving you. Everybody in the Once Family is going to keep you alive through us. R.I.P. My heart goes to her family.”

Griggs was laid to rest on Friday, November 8 following a funeral at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan, according to an online obituary. More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony, her father told CNN. Hundreds also gathered to remember the young star at a ceremony at Arte Cafe in Chelsea on Sunday, he said.

Griggs attended school full time at the Clinton School in Chelsea even while pursuing her career in the arts, according to Page Six. She planned to continue doing so, having reportedly auditioned for admittance into the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts days before her passing.

“She did in 13 years what most people can’t do in a lifetime,” her grandfather, David Rivlin, said to the outlet. “She was incredibly multi-talented, and her life was a balancing act.”

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