Sad news for folks like me who were fans of the television series Angel: Andy Hallett, the actor who played Lorne, passed away on March 29 of congestive heart failure. He was 33 years old. Not long after wrapping the final episode of the series, Andy developed a tooth infection that spread throughout his body, damaging his heart. He recovered from an initial case of cardiomyopathy, but was hospitalized three more times in the years that followed. His father, Dave Hallett, was at his bedside at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles when he died.
Lorne, originally referred to only as The Host, was one of the key ingredients that allowed Angel to become more than another nerdy fantasy series. Lorne was a demon from another dimension, green-skinned with horns on his forehead, who was able to tell the futures of his clients — but only if he heard them sing. He owned a night club in L.A. that featured regular karaoke nights, leading to some of the funniest moments in the series. Before Lorne arrived at the start of the second season, Angel was a competent Buffy clone; from season two through to the end, in large measure thanks to the character of Lorne and the charming, funny, energetic performance of Hallett, it was consistently one of the best shows on television.
After Angel went off the air in 2004, Hallett made a living mostly as a singer. His voice was unmistakable — high and piercing, and perfectly pitched. In his early appearances, Lorne was known to join his customers on-stage for a number every now and then. As the show wore on and his role grew, there was less time for singing. But Angel was always a better show for Lorne, and Andy Hallett, having been there.