Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis’ father succumbs to gunshot wound

Jimmy Jean-Louis speaks to those in attendance, just this February, at the fundraising Haiti Cherie event in New York, where he was honored.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

On April 10, Lephène Jean-Louis, father of actor, Haiti advocate, and philanthropist Jimmy Jean-Louis, succumbed in a Haitian hospital to an injury from a gunshot wound he received four days earlier on Sunday, April 6.

The senior Jean-Louis was shopping in a local store in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Tabarre (Torcelle, Haiti), near his home and was wounded by a single bullet to the abdomen, an innocent bystander during an attempted robbery. Three assailants escaped by motorcycle and are still at large. Lephène Jean-Louis, 78, passed away of complications from his injuries. The senior Jean-Louis and his wife survived the January 2010 earthquake.

During the time of the shooting, the actor, who plays the father of the Haitian nation, Toussaint Louverture, in the French made-for-TV film “Toussaint Louverture,” was in Haiti to commemorate the April 7 death of the Haitian hero. With his own father fighting for his life, Jimmy Jean-Louis put on his game face and, dressed in period garb as Toussaint Louverture, stood alongside President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe for the commemorative ceremony.

His father was expected to pull through and the actor left Haiti for his home in Los Angeles, planning to return days later. The senior Jean-Louis died while the actor was airborne. Lephène Jean-Louis is survived by his wife, the actor’s mother who lives in Haiti, and another son and daughter and grandchildren living outside of Haiti.

The actor, who was very close with father, came to public attention from his role as ‘The Haitian’ in the TV series “Heroes” prior to his portrayal of Haiti’s national hero. As one Haitian newspaper put it, “Now, he lost his hero.”

A public statement released by the family conveys this message: We appreciate the outpouring of love and concern shown at this time of loss. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this difficult time, and keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.”

More from Around NYC