Jeff Fenholt Bio
Jeffrey Craig Jeff Fenholt was an American singer and actor best known for his performance as the title character in the original Broadway theatre adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar and for his appearance on the cover of Time magazine.
RIP JEFF FENHOLT. it is with great sadness that i announce the death of jeff yeaterday..he was my friend and will be greatly mmissed..my taughts are with his family and friends..RIP JEFF pic.twitter.com/FELo8Mqfy5
— Emerald Sabbath (@Emerald_Sabbath) September 11, 2019
In later years, Fenholt would gain notoriety as a Christian evangelist and singer, as well as controversy over his involvement with the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath.
Jeff Fenholt Bio Age
He was 79 years old at the time of death. (September 15, 1950 – September 10, 2019)
Jeff Fenholt Death Cause
My heart was sad hurt when heard news of Jeff fenholt your dad family great friend worked with him in ministry saw great things happen when he sang many came to the Lord .. Will be missed rip was thinking about him in la ca where I live .. my regards to you and family Tristan .
— DANA FOSTER ( COMPELLINGFIRE🔥 (@danafos77549230) September 12, 2019
Broadway star Jeff Fenholt has died aged 68 after battling a number of undisclosed health issues. Fenholt was said to be battling several health problems of late but it is not yet clear what they were.
Background and Early Life
Fenholt grew up in Ohio and went to school in Columbus. He was involved with a number of rock bands and performed at various school functions. Fenholt got his first Top 40 hit, (“Billboard Top 100″) recording, “Goin’ Too Far”, with the band The Fifth Order when he was 14. He toured extensively while he was in high school. By his own admission, he was a troubled youth with a juvenile delinquency record. Later, while in college, he worked at Jeffrey Mining Machinery Co. as a material mover in the motor winding and assembly department, and loading and unloading beef sides for a non-union roughneck truck dock, EC Jones, Trucking. Fenholt attended Ohio State University for two years on a music scholarship and later earned his B.A. in music at The School of Bible Theology University in San Jacinto, California.
Jeff Fenholt Autobiography
I just learned that my friend Jeff Fenholt has gone on to be with the Lord. I had the pleasure of directing his shows on TBN for several years. He was always so much fun to be with. I spoke with him a few months ago as he shared some of his ideas for a new show. RIP Jeff pic.twitter.com/mkuXfiTRBZ
— Faith on Film TV (@FaithonFilmTV) September 11, 2019
Fenholt’s 1994 autobiography From Darkness To Light reveals that he was abused and mistreated as a youth and subjected to frequent beatings. In 1996, Fenholt’s parents sued him, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), and the publisher of his autobiography for $12 million each for defamation of character. Fenholt’s siblings claimed he made up the stories of abuse, but the lawsuit was subsequently dropped after Fenholt produced court documents from the Superior Court Of Franklin County, Ohio, confirming his claims. Fenholt later said that he has a “warm relationship” with his mother and family.
Conversion to Christianity
According to Fenholt’s autobiography, he was heavily addicted to alcohol and drugs following the end of Jesus Christ Superstar’s run on Broadway. Fenholt’s often-repeated testimony (later published in his autobiography) details a visit from Christian construction workers (Nick Dissipio, owner, hired by his Christian wife to rebuild a wing of his house) who confronted him regarding his portrayal of Christ on stage. Fenholt was converted to Christ, beat his addictions, then spent the next several years struggling to balance his faith and his career, before becoming a high-profile personality on programming aired by TBN. Fenholt sported long hair, an unusual style in conservative evangelical circles. Fenholt would often appear with his wife Maureen (nicknamed “Reeni”).
Involvement with Tony Iommi/Black Sabbath
Fenholt built his career as a TBN personality based mostly upon his involvement with Jesus Christ Superstar, and Black Sabbath. In the “Black Sabbath Biography” publication, Never Say Die, Fenholt said that Black Sabbath manager Don Arden informed him he was singing for Black Sabbath.
The Never Say Die book, authored by Garry Sharpe-Young and updated as Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – The Battle for Black Sabbath, states that a substantial number of recordings were made during Fenholt’s time with the group. It is acknowledged that this was a confusing time in the band’s history, as singer David Donato had left the band after six months only having recorded demos. Geezer Butler and Bill Ward had also left, leaving Tony Iommi as the sole original member.
After his time with Iommi, Fenholt would briefly replace Jeff Scott Soto in Rudy Sarzo, of Ozzy and Whitesnake fame and Tommy Aldridge’s, of Ozzy and Whitesnake new project, Driver. Upon recording several cuts with Driver (one of which is in common circulation amongst fans, “Rock the World”) Fenholt left the project to do a solo tour of South America and was replaced by his successor in Joshua, Rob Rock. Following a legal dispute with another band of the same name, the Driver project would change its name to M.A.R.S., upon the recruitment of guitarist Tony MacAlpine. Only one album was released, 1986’s Project: Driver, before the band officially disbanded. Fenholt continued as a solo Christian artist to perform numerous American and World Tours in Stadiums and Arenas, often drawing in excess of 100,000 in attendance.
Departure To Mount Horeb TV Program
In 1993 Fenholt announced on the TV program The 700 Club that he planned to do a Halloween concert in an arena in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Having advance notification from the Attorney General of Massachusetts of his arrival in Wisconsin, Wiccan Priest Selena Fox (Circle Sanctuary) got a restraining order from the local county court prohibiting not only his trespass onto the private property but actually specifying that he stay a particular distance from the property line. Fenholt won in court.
In 1996, Fenholt was The Chairman of “Washington For Jesus” youth rally on The Nation’s Capital Steps, drawing nearly 500,000 in attendance. Fenholt raised over $1.7 million to stage the event, donating over $300,000 of his own funds.
In the December 1997 issue, Vanity Fair detailed his past as a “boy toy” for Gala Dalí, wife of Salvador Dalí and that Fenholt had worked on the side as a representative for Salvador Dalí. The article was titled, “Gala, Dali’s Demon Bride”. Fenholt was outraged at the depiction of Gala, and wrote a scathing letter to the editor, stating they had no evidence to substantiate their smear campaign of Gala.
Fenholt was divorced in 1998 and left TBN, except for a few brief appearances, including one after the events of September 11, 2001, that featured a marked change in his demeanor and appearance, including short hair and a quick exit from the stage following his performance. His album of sacred music was TBN’s promotion in December 2001. Fenholt recorded 5 solo albums for TBN, featuring many of his own compositions. They sold in excess of 3.3 million copies. Fenholt earned one Platinum and two Gold albums. He was also briefly seen doing a late-night timeslot for a half-hour program. Fenholt stated that after his divorce he had “lost his fire”.
Fenholt returned to TBN on March 3, 2004, as a guest on the Behind the Scenes program, hosted by Paul Crouch. Fenholt mentioned Black Sabbath, citing the book Never Say Die, a “Black Sabbath” biography.
In 2008, Fenholt was hired as Executive Producer of The Beijing Olympic Concert Series.
Jeff Fenholt Achievements
The singer played Jesus when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar first opened on Broadway in New York City on October 1971.
After 711 shows, Jesus Chris Superstar closed on Broadway two years later.
Fenholt had been open in the past about how he was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol after his run in Jesus Christ Superstar came to an end.
He said he converted to Christianity to beat his addiction.
In his autobiography, he detailed how he was introduced to religion after being approached by Christian construction workers about his portrayal in the Broadway production.
In his autobiography, he detailed how he was introduced to religion after being approached by Christian construction workers about his portrayal in the Broadway production
He once claimed that he had briefly been the singer for British heavy metal band Black Sabbath around 1985.
Fenholt had claimed the band used some of his melodies for their Seventh Star album but said he wasn’t credited.
The band has only ever said that Fenholt auditioned for a spot in the group.
Following his introduction to religion, Fenholt eventually went on to become a Christian evangelist.
He became a high-profile personality on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Jeff Fenholt Wife
Fenholt lived with his wife, Kim, at their beach house in Newport Beach, California, and his ranch in Colorado. He died on September 10, 2019, 5 days shy of his 69th birthday.