While not in the league of the brutal and extremely tragic murder of the gorgeous and talented Danny Lockin, the originator of the role of Barnaby in "Hello, Dolly!," Jerry Dodge, passed away under odd circumstances in November, 1974, while once again working with Gower Champion, Jerry Herman, and David Merrick, in "Mack & Mabel."
The New York Times obituary of November 5, 1974 contains this mysterious reference: "Jerry Dodge... died Thursday of chemical poisoning in his home at 27 East 11th Street. He was 37 years old and had been undergoing medical treatment for a virus infection." I've read at least hundreds of obituaries in my theatrical and other research, and this is the only time I've ever seen the phrase "chemical poisoning" – much less in the case of someone purportedly receiving medical care. An actor who knew him told me the real story was quite different; suffice it to say that suicide is a very strong possibility.