Skip to content

Jeffrey Carlson, ‘All My Children’ Soap Actor, Dead at 48

At the age of 48, Jeffrey Carlson, a gifted stage performer and former cast member of the serial opera All My Children, went unexpectedly.

"RIP Jeffrey Carlson, 48, exposed-nerve star of Broadway (Billy in The Goat, Marilyn in Taboo) and TV (the groundbreaking trans character Zoe on All My Children)," said Time Out New York theater editor Adam Feldman in a tweet announcing the tragic news. A strong actor and a tragic loss.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company also posted a memorial to the late actor on their Facebook page, expressing its sadness at his recent demise. Throughout his career, Jeffrey provided stunning and subtle performances that led him from television and cinema to Broadway and, happily for us, to STC.The people who knew Jeffrey best—his friends, family, and coworkers—are the ones we extend our love to.

Carlson performed in several Shakespeare Theatre Company productions, including the 2008 and 2017 iterations of Free For All as well as Lorenzaccio (2005), Hamlet (2007), Romeo and Juliet (2016), and Hamlet.

No information on his cause of death, survivors, or a memorial service was made available right away.

As soon as he learned of Carlson's demise, author Mark Harris tweeted, "This is terribly terrible. Anyone fortunate enough to catch Jeffrey Carlson performing in New York City theater in the 2000s or in the subsequent regional productions understood they were watching not just a superb actor, but also an honest and original one. RIP."

Carlson obviously had a big impact on a lot of people since so many friends and admirers are expressing their sympathy and applauding him online following his passing.

Carlson had a successful acting career, but it's possible that his portrayal of Zoe on All My Children is what made him most well-known. He debuted on the program in 2006 as a Zarf-style character. Throughout the course of the plot, the character comes out as transgender and adopts the name Zoe.

Although it's not certain, Zoe was perhaps the first out trans woman and the first representation of a male to female transition on daytime television.

Carlson discussed the pressure he felt when playing Zoe in an interview with when he was still on All My Children. He said, "I worry about missing anything, but I assume that would be the same with any character. I want the viewers of All My Children to follow. It's not done to startle people. In Pine Valley, it's simply one more individual whose life is being chronicled.

Carlson contributed to the television show All My Children and also acted in the movies Hitch, Backseat, and The Killing Floor. He concentrated on stage and theatrical performances after his stint on the soap series.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.