Lonnie McNeil

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Legit actor Lonnie McNeil died May 10 at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, N.J. He was 46.

McNeil’s passion for theater came at an early age from family trips to Radio City Music Hall and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. After appearing in a number of church musical productions as a child, McNeil decided to pursue acting professionally.

Among his stage credits were “Eubie,” “Black and Blue,” “Bubbling Brown Sugar,” “Raisin” and “Side by Side.”

McNeil also taught dance and theater, becoming the artistic director for the Central Brooklyn Dance Co. He was named the artist-in-residence at Yale University, Williams College and at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel.

McNeil directed touring productions of “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” and “Bubbling Brown Sugar.” However, his best-known accomplishment was co-creating, directing and choreographing the production of “Inappropriate,” which debuted Off Broadway in March.

McNeil is survived by his mother, Johnnie Mae, and four sisters.