Bennett “Ben” Bradley, a well-regarded stage director and producer at Hollywood’s Fountain Theater, was found murdered Saturday night, the victim of multiple stab wounds.
A Sunday KABC TV report said that a stage manager went to Bradley’s apartment and discovered his body there when Bradley did not show up for a rehearsal of the Fountain’s next production. A Los Angeles Police Dept. advisory issued Sunday said the attack against Bradley, 59, “occurred at around 5:50 p.m., inside Bradley’s apartment in the 100 block of South New Hampshire Avenue.”
Members of an L.A. Fire Dept. crew arrived at the scene, where they pronounced Bradley dead. When reached by The Wrap, weekend duty officers at the LAPD and coroner’s office said there would be no further details about Bradley’s death until at least Monday.
Bradley was a familiar and popular figure at the Fountain who greeted audiences each night before plays went up. In 2006 he garnered L.A. Drama Critics Circle Ovation awards for both Production of the Year and Direction for his revival of August Wilson’s "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”
He also produced such works as “I Am a Man,” Oyamo’s retelling of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last days, and Dael Orlandersmith’s “Yellowman,” a brutal love story involving South Carolina Gullah families. “Yellowman” won the L.A. Weekly’s 2006 Production of the Year award.
In a cruelly ironic twist, Bradley, an African American, was in the process of directing the West Coast premiere of Ifa Bayeza’s “The Ballad of Emmett Till,” a story about the Chicago youth who was savagely beaten to death by Southern whites in 1955. Calls to the Fountain Theater have not been returned.
The LAPD asks that anyone with information should call Olympic Homicide Detectives Herman Frettlohr and Matthew Gares at (213) 382-9470. After-hours/weekend call 1-877-LAPD-24-7.