13-Year-Old Broadway Star Dies from ‘Massive Asthma Attack,’ Fans are Heartbroken
9:55 AM PT: Laurel Griggs died from a “massive asthma attack,” according to a post on Facebook by her grandfather. On November 6, David Rivlin wrote, “It’s with heavy heart that I have to share some very sad news. My beautiful and talented granddaughter, Laurel Griggs, has passed away suddenly from a massive asthma attack. Mount Sinai was valiant in trying to save her but now she’s with the angels.”
A young actress who made a name for herself on Broadway and also appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” is dead at the age of 13. Laurel Griggs was known for portraying the longest-running character of Ivanka in the Tony Award-winning “ONCE the Musical” on Broadway after having held the role for 17 months.
On Saturday it was announced, via her obituary page, that the young star had died on November 5 of unknown causes. The obituary page also revealed that Griggs’ funeral services were carried out on Friday at Riverside Memorial Chapel, and the family is asking for donations to be made in her name to Broadway Cares, one of the nation’s leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.
Friends and Fans Are Shocked
After news hit of Griggs’ death, fans took to her social media and obituary page to express confusion, shock and ask for answers into how the young star died.
Fellow Broadway child star, Eliza Holland Madore, eulogized Griggs on Instagram:
“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. 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.”
One of Griggs’ directors also paid tribute to the star and hoped that she was at peace.
“I had the distinct pleasure of getting to direct Laurel in two plays last year at her school. From her first audition, I could tell she had something special to give the world. She had such a bright light shining from her. She was kind to everyone, hard working, and just a pleasure to be around. She really could light up a room whenever she walked in. I am so grateful for every moment I got to spend teaching her, and I will have a huge piece missing this year when I direct the next show. I will miss her enthusiasm and bright smile in the classroom. She definitely left an impact on me from my time getting to know her, and I will never forget her. I hope you are at peace, Laurel. Also sending my thoughts and prayers to all of her family and friends.”
It seems that those close to Griggs may have known the star was dealing with a health issue, but fans are completely shocked and are asking for answers surrounding the cause of death.
“What happened? OMG, this is so sad, I am in shock. RIP little girl,” one person wrote on her obituary page.
The Young Star’s Career
Griggs made her acting debut in 2013 alongside Scarlett Johansson in the Broadway production of “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.”
Along with Broadway, she appeared on “SNL,” and wrote about the experience back in 2017.
“Last night was the most amazing night of my life! Thank you to the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live for making me feel so welcome! Also thank you to my spectacular agent @bonshumobloom for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity!”
Griggs is survived by her two parents, Elizabeth Rivlin and Andrew Griggs.