Vivien Eng, 'The King and I' Broadway Actress, Dies at 51

Playbill

'Good Wife' actor and Eng's neighbor, Dylan Baker, attempted to rescue her from the apartment fire.

Vivien Eng, a Broadway actress who was featured in the 1996 ensemble of The King and I, died Thursday after suffering injuries from an apartment fire. She was 51.

The actress' apartment, located on the 33rd floor of the Manhattan Plaza building on West 43rd Street at Tenth Avenue, was ablaze Wednesday when Eng's neighbor and Good Wife actor Dylan Baker attempted to save her from the flames, according to Playbill. He was unable to reach the actress because of the smoke and flames in her unit.

"When I opened the door, it was a full-fledged fire," Baker told NBC. "It was terrifying."

"I banged on the door and shouted her name. 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," Baker said. "I yelled again, I didn't hear anything. So we got the heck out."

Baker then called 911 and moved his family out of the apartment building.

Firefighters found Eng unconscious; she was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital's burn unit where she died a day later. The fire reportedly started because of "smoking materials" that had not been completely extinguished.

She appeared as Eliza in a London revival of The King and I, as well as the role of George in an international tour of the production. Eng also appeared in Paper Mill Playhouse's Chess production and a regional revival of West Side Story.

The King and I was Eng's sole role on Broadway.

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