In 2007 he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has a website in which he shares his personal story along […] Vereen lost his 16-year-old daughter, Naja Vereen, is a horrifying car accident in 1987 Vereen’s then-wife, Nancy, escaped the deadly accident unscathed. Mike Coppola / Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro. Vereen was walking on Pacific Coast Highway shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was struck by Foster’s Chevrolet Suburban. This afternoon he was listed in critical condition with major head and internal injuries and a broken leg. Nancy Bruner married Ben Vereen in 1976. The entertainer Ben Vereen was critically injured early today when he was hit by a utility vehicle as he walked along a dark stretch of highway near his beach home in Malibu. ‘Basically, it was an act of God that she wasn’t injured,’ said a state police spokeswoman at the time. Vereen is perhaps best known for his performance in the miniseries ″Roots″ and his Tony-winning role in Broadway’s ″Pippin.″. The 45-year-old Tony Award winner, one of whose five children died in a car accident in 1987, later underwent four hours of surgery at the U.C.L.A. In 1992, Vereen suffered three accidents in one day, when his car hit a tree causing him to hit his head on the roof of his car, then he suffered a stroke while he was walking on a Malibu highway, apparently veering into the road where he was struck by a car driven by record producer David Foster. Almost killed in a 1992 Pacific Coast Highway accident, which occurred when he was walking back to … LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Moments after his vehicle hit Ben Vereen, record producer David Foster told a 911 operator that a badly injured pedestrian lay nearby and, ″I think he’s going to die,″ according to an audio tape. Ben Vereen Hit by Car and Critically Hurt. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Ben Vereen is a dynamo. Vereen, 45, underwent four hours of surgery Tuesday and he has been listed in critical condition at the UCLA Medical Center’s intensive care unit, said spokesman Richard Elbaum. Hours earlier, Mr. Vereen crashed his Corvette into a tree and was taken to a sheriff's station for sobriety tests, which he passed, said Deputy Larry Mead. Vereen learned of his death on August 8. I want you to calm down now, OK?,″ the dispatcher told him. The miniseries was among the most talked-about television productions of the year, and Vereen leveraged his resulting high profile with the variety special "Ben Vereen, His Roots" (ABC, 1978). A sister of performer Ben Vereen was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy when she collapsed while in custody in a county jail with a recent history of inmate deaths. Where to Watch. Ben shared four children with Nancy, four daughters named Malika Vereen, Karon Vereen, Naja Vereen and Kabara Vereen. In 2007, he … Ben Vereen A Broadway star actor-singer-dancer who has made some inroads in TV, Ben Vereen also has seen his career plagued by personal problems, including a … West End; New York City. He later told the operator: ″He’s breathing, but he’s not in good shape. The hospital has been deluged with hundreds of calls and telegrams from well-wishers that included Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Janet Jackson, Red Skelton and Richard Pryor, said Elbaum. ″He was just, he walked right in front of my car,″ Foster told the operator before paramedics arrived. Foster, a Grammy-winning composer and producer who has collaborated with Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson, has been in seclusion since the crash. ″I mean, he looks like maybe he’s a homeless person.″. After suffering an accident so severe that it nearly took his life, entertainer Ben Vereen required intense physical and occupational therapy to learn to walk, talk, sing, and even live again. Doctors said it was too early for a prognosis. They ultimately divorced in 2012. Rescue workers took 3 1/2 hours Wednesday to remove the body of Naja Vereen of Saddle River from the flattened remains of the van, according to state police. Re-teaming with Bob Fosse, Vereen hit movie theaters the following year in Fosse's semi-autobiographical, Oscar-nominated feature "All That Jazz" (1979). See the article in its original context from. Ben Vereen in "Pippin" (Photo: Martha Swope/NYPL) Ben Vereen is a Tony-winning actor, dancer and singer known most for his association with Bob Fosse’s work. The authorities said they did not know why he had been walking on the highway at that hour. LOS ANGELES - Entertainer Ben Vereen was critically injured Tuesday after darting into the path of a small truck on a dark stretch of highway near his beach home, authorities said. The driver of the vehicle told deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he had seen a man walking in the roadway and had slammed on his brakes and swerved toward the right shoulder to try to avoid hitting him. The tape was obtained Friday by The Associated Press. Ben Vereen’s daughter, Naja, was killed when a minivan driven by her mother was crushed by a tractor toppled on a highway ramp. "We're encouraged at this point," Mr. Elbaum said, "but it's still very early.". ... Ma’am I hit him, I must have been doing 45 mph.″. The theater acting world has suffered another loss. The fire department,″ Foster said. Foster and Vereen, who are neighbors in Malibu, recently worked together during an AIDS benefit, but Foster didn’t recognize the man he hit on the dark, hilly section of highway. In a recording of the 911 call placed to the California Highway Patrol, a stunned Foster pleaded over his cellular telephone for an ambulance to help Vereen, who was knocked 130 feet after impact. Foster said at one point during the conversation with the 911 operator: ″This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Ben Vereen : biography October 10, 1946 – Personal life Vereen has appeared as a public speaker and humanitarian speaking on such topics as Black history, overcoming adversity, and the importance of continuing education. Next week he’ll be bringing his message of inspiration and health to Seattle as he’ll be the keynote speaker for the Northwest Kidney Centers’ 15 th annual Breakfast of Hope fundraiser on May 16 th . Legendary actor, singer, and dancer Ben Vereen shares his rehabilitation experiences with Boston University Sargent College students. Musician David Foster looks back on his car accident with Broadway superstar, Ben Vereen, and how it inadvertently saved his life. Skip to footer site map. He remained in critical condition Friday at University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. ″Oh man, there’s a car coming. According to reports, Benjamin Vereen Jr., who also went by the name "Benji," had been missing since July 27. ... I’m gonna be in big trouble, I know. Ben Vereen. Posted On : May 4, 2015. A hospital spokesman, Richard Elbaum, said Mr. Vereen was "conscious and communicative" and was resting in intensive care. NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The 16-year-old daughter of entertainer Ben Vereen was killed when a mini- van driven by her mother was crushed by a tractor-trailer that toppled on a highway ramp, police said. He ended up with many serious injuries. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. The entertainer Ben Vereen was critically injured early today when he was hit by a utility vehicle as he walked along a dark stretch of highway near his beach home in Malibu. Because it turned out, Vereen had already suffered an accident earlier that day, when his automobile hit a tree, inflicting him to bang his head on the roof of his automobile and undergo a stroke; this was why an out-of-sorts Vereen … ″They’re here. In prior interviews with People Magazine and Ability Magazine, the details and … I think he’s going to die. Cabaret; Off-Broadway; Off-Off-Broadway; Dance; Opera; Classical Music Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. Ben Vereen, Actor: All That Jazz. Ben Vereen interview by Chet Cooper. From 1966 to 1974, Ben Vereen was married to a woman named Andrea Townsley. Earlier this week, Benjamin Vereen Jr., the son of legendary Broadway actor Benjamin Vereen, was confirmed to have died. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. "The theater was my first training ground. Both He’s been singing, dancing and acting his way through a dazzling career, earning a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical Pippin and rave reviews for his roles in the television mini-series Roots and the program Ellis Island. According to NY1, Benjamin Jr. had been missing since July 27. Vereen was walking on Pacific Coast Highway shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was struck by Foster’s Chevrolet Suburban. Actor Ben Vereen attends the 2017 Tony Awards. Ben Vereen in “Pippin” (Photo by Martha Swope/Courtesy of the NYPL Archives) Besides winning the Tony for his performance in the original production of Pippin, Vereen has appeared in the musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Grind and most recently Wicked. Ben "Benji" Vereen, Jr., 55, Ben's son by his first wife, and himself a dancer and choreographer, was found dead on 8 August 2020 after being missing from his … Ben Vereen, the legendary star of both stage and screen, has long made it a mission to inspire others through the healing power of the arts. ″I know, but they can hit this man again,″ replied Foster, who managed to wave the car down in time. Mr. Vereen's sister, Aixa Clemente, said after visiting him that he was expected to survive. His first love and passion is and always will be the stage. Ben Vereen, best known for his role as “Chicken George” in Roots and as a superb Broadway dancer, revealed that he developed an extremely heavy cocaine addiction that was kicked into overdrive after the sudden death of his 16 year old daughter, Naja. Mr. Vereen, perhaps best known for his roles in the Broadway musical "Pippin" and as Chicken George in the television miniseries "Roots," was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban about 2:45 A.M. on the Pacific Coast Highway 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. Watchlist. Well, the veteran actor, Ben Vereen, is no stranger to tragedy as he lost not one but two children. LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Moments after his vehicle hit Ben Vereen, record producer David Foster told a 911 operator that a badly injured pedestrian lay nearby and, ″I think he’s going to die,″ according to an audio tape. They have a son named Ben Jr. From 1976 to 2012, he was married to Nancy Bruner.They have three living daughters - Karon, Malaika, Kabara. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. He was not charged. In 1992, he had several accidents with his car. ″OK, the sheriff’s are on their way, too, David. I can’t believe this.″. ″OK, I don’t want you to endanger yourself,″ the operator said. Deanne Holliday, a friend who was at the hospital awaiting updates on Mr. Vereen's condition, said he sometimes took predawn walks as exercise. At that point, the headlights of a car could be seen bearing down on Vereen, who was sprawled on the highway with severe internal and head injuries, as well as a broken leg. Musician David Foster looks back on his car accident with Broadway superstar, Ben Vereen, and how it inadvertently saved his life. After receiving help for his emotional problems, he bounced back, performing once again on Broadway in Jelly's Last Jam and on television in the USA series Silk Stalkings. I’m going to have to try to get the car’s attention without getting hit myself,″ said Foster. Deputy Robert Evans, lead investigator in the accident, said Foster did everything he could do to avoid hitting Vereen, who apparently was walking from his manager’s beach house to his Point Dume home five miles away. More From Yahoo Entertainment US. In the late '80s Vereen was emotionally drained after the death of his daughter, and contemplated suicide. Naja was killed in an auto accident in 1987, on the New Jersey Turnpike when a truck overturned on her car. After his daughter’s death, he developed a drug addiction and spent some time in rehabilitation. Chock-full of song, dance and inspirational and humorous stories, Ben Vereen in Concert is a one-man show featuring performances on the four major Hawaiian Islands, including this Sunday at Kaua’i Community College Performing Arts Center. He had lost his sixteen years old daughter, Naja Vereen, in 1987. Their eldest daughter, Naja, died in a car accident in 1987. The eldest son and namesake of Tony Award-winning actor Ben Vereen has died under unknown circumstances at age 55, two weeks after he went missing. In an inspiring and motivating presentation, Vereen share his personal journey and the importance of the rehabilitation he received. Investigators said they did not know whether there was any connection between the accidents. December 3, 1987. That love and support has helped Ben Vereen survive obstacles that would easily end the careers of other artists. Medical Center. The driver, whose name was not disclosed, was not injured. Vereen Jr.'s death isn’t the first … Minutes later, Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived. Ben Lost His Daughter, Naja In An Accident. "Unfortunately," said Deputy Angie McLaughlin, "the pedestrian ran in the same direction and was hit by the left front area of the Suburban." 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