Broadway Star of ‘The Lion King’ Loses Her Brave Battle Against Cancer; She Was 11 Years Old and Played Young Nala in the Show

Nov 2, 2010  •  Post A Comment

“Shannon Tavarez, the 11-year-old who played Young Nala in Broadway’s “Lion King,” has died…,”ABC News reports.

She had leukemia.

According to the article, “More than 8,000 people from around the country, including the rapper 50 Cent, volunteered to be bone marrow donors in her name, but no match ever was found.

“The fact that Shannon, who had no siblings, was part African-American and part Hispanic made it harder to find a bone marrow transplant. Of the 7 million Americans listed as potential donors, only 12 percent are minorities, according to DKMS Americas.”

The story also said that “Tavarez got the role of Simba’s girlfriend in the popular musical after her first-ever open audition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. She never had appeared in a professional production, only in school recitals and plays.

Her mother said her daughter was “the feisty, fierce lion. She really fears nothing.” 


  1. sadness beyond words…breaks my heart. RIP.

  2. Beyond unfair, poor kid. And some of you people still love God.

  3. Dear God, hope you got the letter, and…
    I pray you can make it better down here.
    I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer, but all the people that you made in your image, see them starving on their feet ’cause they don’t get enough to eat from God, I can’t believe in you.
    Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but… I feel that I should be heard
    loud and clear. We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
    and all the people that you made in your image, see them fighting in the street ’cause they can’t make opinions meet about God, I can’t believe in you.
    Did you make disease, and the diamond blue? Did you make mankind after we made you? And the devil too!
    Dear God, don’t know if you noticed, but… your name is on a lot of quotes in this book, and us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look, and all the people that you made in your image still believing that junk is true. Well I know it ain’t, and so do you, dear God, I can’t believe in I don’t believe in…
    I won’t believe in heaven and hell. No saints, no sinners, no devil as well. No pearly gates, no thorny crown. You’re always letting us humans down. The wars you bring, the babes you drown. Those lost at sea and never found, and it’s the same the whole world ’round. The hurt I see helps to compound that
    Father, Son and Holy Ghost is just somebody’s unholy hoax, and if you’re up there you’d perceive that my heart’s here upon my sleeve. If there’s one thing I don’t believe in…
    It’s you.

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