Broadway actress Vivien Eng, best known for her role in 1996’s “The King and I” revival, died on Thursday of injuries suffered in a fire at her New York City high-rise apartment on Wednesday. She was 51.
“The Good Wife” actor and Eng’s neighbor, Dylan Baker, attempted to rescue her, but was unable to reach her through the flames in her apartment on the 33rd floor of the Manhattan Plaza building in the city’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. He called 911 immediately after and hurried his family out of the building.
“When I opened the door, it was a full-fledged fire,” he told NBC New York. “It was terrifying.”
Baker noticed flames coming from Eng’s apartment upon returning home around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I banged on the door and shouted her name,” Baker said. “I opened her door — I was surprised to find it open — and there were flames everywhere, and smoke was coming out at me so I had to slam the door.”
Firefighters found Eng unconscious on the floor of her apartment, according to NBC. She was admitted to the burn unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and died the following day of burns to the head and chest, as well as smoke inhalation.
According to DNAinfo, the fire was sparked from “smoking materials” that hadn’t been properly extinguished.
Eng was part of the ensemble cast of a London revival of “The King and I” as well as an international tour. She appeared on the TV show “Law & Order” and in the films “Precious” and “Away We Go.”