J.D. Hawkins, who's been making a name for himself on Houston stages and in film productions here, has died.
He'd appeared in plays at the Alley, Stages and the Ensemble; throughout his career he had worked with stars like Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Joan Allen and Sam Elliott.
It was at the Ensemble that the sudden news of his death hit hardest.
"It was a shock to everybody," Robert Ross, the theater's media-relations guy, tells Hair Balls.
Few details were available about the death -- Hawkins hadn't been sick, apparently, and there was no car crash or anything like that.
"I believe he died of kidney failure, maybe related to high blood pressure, but he wasn't sick with anything we knew about," says Eileen Morris, artistic director of the Ensemble.
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Hawkins, who was in his 40s, had not worked at the Ensemble for two or three years, concentrating on writing and producing films and videos.
"But I had just talked to him last month about coming back to us next season," Morris says. "It's a shame."
Funeral arrangements are planned for Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10AM at the Second Baptist Church at 6400 Woodway, according to SWAMP, the Southwest Alternate Media Project, where Hawkins was a member.
-- Richard Connelly