Carl Anderson, Superstar's Judas on Stage and Screen, Dead at 58 | Playbill

Related Articles
Obituaries Carl Anderson, Superstar's Judas on Stage and Screen, Dead at 58 Carl Anderson, the actor and singer who was Golden Globe Award-nominated for playing Judas in the film, "Jesus Christ Superstar," and appeared in Broadway's Play On!, died Feb. 23 after a battle with leukemia.
Carl Anderson in the original Broadway production of Play On! Photo by Ken Howard

In addition to film, theatre, TV and concert work, he sang on a pre-Broadway album of Frank Wildhorn's The Civil War.

Mr. Anderson was 58. He was born in Lynchburg, VA, in 1945, to a steel worker father and a seamstress mother, according to his official website. Mr. Anderson got his first taste of performing when he sang in Baptist church. He also sang in high school.

While serving for two years in the Air Force, he was involved in the World Wide Air Force Talent Contest, allowing him to sing at military bases around the country, strengthening his talent.

He was noticed by a talent agent while singing with a band in Washington, DC. Part of his band's act was performing songs from the concept album of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar."

According the official Carl Anderson website (here), "The concert touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar was auditioning and, on the last day of auditions, 27 June 1971, Carl — who had been delivered to New York City not knowing why he was there — auditioned for and landed the role of Judas. Two days later, he was in rehearsal." He would later say in interviews that he stepped into the Broadway role of Judas when Ben Vereen suffered throat problems. They alternated the part for a time, and Mr. Anderson then headed west to perform in the Los Angeles company of the rock opera.

But he was soon plucked from rehearsals for a screen test for film director Norman Jewison. Weeks later, he left the L.A. show to begin shooting the film of the rock opera in Israel.

Playbill On-Line could not independently confirm dates of Mr. Anderson's Broadway appearance in Jesus Christ Superstar. The Internet Broadway Database information for the production is incomplete.

Mr. Anderson was Golden Globe-nominated for New Star of the Year and Actor in a Leading Role-Musical or Comedy.

In 1992, Mr. Anderson again played Judas in a North American touring revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie. He would play it on tour again as late as 2002 03.

The most recent national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, with rocker Sebastian Bach in the title role and Carl Anderson as Judas, dawned Nov. 1-17, 2002, at the LaMirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in California before traveling the country.

The new staging borrowed elements from the 2000 Broadway revival, but was altered and made militaristic than on Broadway.

Mr. Anderson is heard as solo artist on a number of albums in the Epic, Polydor and GRP labels, as well as on the hot-selling "Jesus Christ Superstar" soundtrack, which was reissued on CD in recent years.

Singing jazz, pop and adult contemporary music over the years, Mr. Anderson had a notable hit recording, "Friends and Lovers," a duet with 1980s soap opera actress and singer Gloria Loring.

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!