USF Actor J. Todd Adams Passes Away

Beloved Utah Shakespeare Actor J. Todd Adams passed away on April 9. Known as North Coast Repertory Theatre’s leading actor, Adams was 51 years old.

Utah Shakespeare Festival recently posted their condolences on their Instagram page, saying “We are so saddened to hear of the passing of our friend J. Todd Adams. We truly enjoyed working with him at the festival and he will be missed.”

In the Utah Shakespeare Festival, he played Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes: the Final Adventure” (2014), Pistol in “Henry V” (2016)  Don John in “Much Ado About Nothing” (2016) and Athos in “The Three Musketeers” (2016). In 2017, he also played Wile Ed Coats in “The Tavern,” Benn Gunn in “Treasure Island,” Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Black Dog in “Treasure Island.”

¨J. Todd was one of the most original and inspiring actors I have ever worked with. He was equally at ease in comedy or tragedy, and was the definition of hard work, firebrand commitment and bridled joy. I will miss him so, so much,¨ said Brian Vaughn, Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director. 

North Coast Repertory Theatre’s artistic director, David Ellenstein, echoed a similar remembrance of Adams, saying that he was both a generous stage partner and a dear friend.

In an article published by the San Diego Tribune, Ellenstein also commented on his death. 

“Everyone who knew him or worked with him liked him. But he battled these dark demons he had that often got the better of him, and ultimately that was his downfall,” Ellenstein said. 

When Adams passed away, he was socially distancing with his family in Utah. As a Utah native, private memorial services will be held in his home state. 

For more information on Adams and the other roles he played throughout his career, click here.


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: San Diego Tribune