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Actor dies after Santa performance at famed Virginia hotel

November 29, 2018
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Mr. Santa Claus marches during the 32nd tree lighting ceremony at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond on Monday Nov. 26, 2018. Andrew Boothby who portrayed Santa at Jefferson Hotel tree lighting Monday, died following the festivities. (Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A local actor has died hours after donning a Santa Claus costume for a tree-lighting at a historic Virginia hotel.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Andrew Boothby died Monday night after the ceremony at The Jefferson Hotel, where he had performed as Santa for years. He was 55.

The cause of death has not been released.

The Maine native graduated from Winchester’s Shenandoah University and moved to Richmond, where he was entrenched in the local theater scene. For around a year, he had been playing George Washington during the “Liberty or Death” re-enactments at St. John’s Church.

His younger brother, Paul Boothby, told the newspaper that his brother “had really developed” his Santa performance and “always wanted to make the holidays special.”

Sunday’s memorial service is at the November Theatre.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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