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″He was just, he walked right in front of my car,″ Foster told the operator before paramedics arrived. See the article in its original context from. That love and support has helped Ben Vereen survive obstacles that would easily end the careers of other artists. Medical Center. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. ″OK, the sheriff’s are on their way, too, David. He ended up with many serious injuries. Ben Lost His Daughter, Naja In An Accident. Mike Coppola / Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro. West End; New York City. Minutes later, Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived. ‘Basically, it was an act of God that she wasn’t injured,’ said a state police spokeswoman at the time. Cabaret; Off-Broadway; Off-Off-Broadway; Dance; Opera; Classical Music Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. 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 … Foster, a Grammy-winning composer and producer who has collaborated with Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson, has been in seclusion since the crash. 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. 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. 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. Ben Vereen is a dynamo. A hospital spokesman, Richard Elbaum, said Mr. Vereen was "conscious and communicative" and was resting in intensive care. I want you to calm down now, OK?,″ the dispatcher told him. I can’t believe this.″. I think he’s going to die. 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. In prior interviews with People Magazine and Ability Magazine, the details and … 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. In the late '80s Vereen was emotionally drained after the death of his daughter, and contemplated suicide. 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. Ben Vereen’s daughter, Naja, was killed when a minivan driven by her mother was crushed by a tractor toppled on a highway ramp. Ben shared four children with Nancy, four daughters named Malika Vereen, Karon Vereen, Naja Vereen and Kabara Vereen. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. ... I’m gonna be in big trouble, I know. 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. Where to Watch. 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. The tape was obtained Friday by The Associated Press. ″I mean, he looks like maybe he’s a homeless person.″. Vereen was walking on Pacific Coast Highway shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was struck by Foster’s Chevrolet Suburban. ... Ma’am I hit him, I must have been doing 45 mph.″. 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. Mr. Vereen's sister, Aixa Clemente, said after visiting him that he was expected to survive. Naja was killed in an auto accident in 1987, on the New Jersey Turnpike when a truck overturned on her car. 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 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. Watchlist. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Ben Vereen, Actor: All That Jazz. Posted On : May 4, 2015. From 1966 to 1974, Ben Vereen was married to a woman named Andrea Townsley. "We're encouraged at this point," Mr. Elbaum said, "but it's still very early.". 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 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. 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. More From Yahoo Entertainment US. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. In 2007, he … Actor Ben Vereen attends the 2017 Tony Awards. According to reports, Benjamin Vereen Jr., who also went by the name "Benji," had been missing since July 27. 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). 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 fire department,″ Foster said. In an inspiring and motivating presentation, Vereen share his personal journey and the importance of the rehabilitation he received. His first love and passion is and always will be the stage. Earlier this week, Benjamin Vereen Jr., the son of legendary Broadway actor Benjamin Vereen, was confirmed to have died. Foster said at one point during the conversation with the 911 operator: ″This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. ″Oh man, there’s a car coming. 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. Investigators said they did not know whether there was any connection between the accidents. 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. He later told the operator: ″He’s breathing, but he’s not in good shape. "Unfortunately," said Deputy Angie McLaughlin, "the pedestrian ran in the same direction and was hit by the left front area of the Suburban." 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. "The theater was my first training ground. Doctors said it was too early for a prognosis. 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. In 2007 he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has a website in which he shares his personal story along […] 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. Deanne Holliday, a friend who was at the hospital awaiting updates on Mr. Vereen's condition, said he sometimes took predawn walks as exercise. Musician David Foster looks back on his car accident with Broadway superstar, Ben Vereen, and how it inadvertently saved his life. This afternoon he was listed in critical condition with major head and internal injuries and a broken leg. Both Nancy Bruner married Ben Vereen in 1976. I’m going to have to try to get the car’s attention without getting hit myself,″ said Foster. After his daughter’s death, he developed a drug addiction and spent some time in rehabilitation. He remained in critical condition Friday at University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. 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. 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. Almost killed in a 1992 Pacific Coast Highway accident, which occurred when he was walking back to … Ben Vereen interview by Chet Cooper. 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. Looks back on his car an accident later, Los Angeles, Medical Center down in time afternoon he struck. For his performance in the late '80s Vereen was emotionally drained after the death his... His Tony-winning role in Broadway ’ s print archive, before the start of online in. And producer who has collaborated with Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson, has in... 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