Friends of the actor said she was excited to return to New York for the first time since the pandemic.
Lisa Banes, a versatile actor who began her career in New York in the 1980s, died on Monday, June 14, of injuries she'd sustained ten days earlier in a hit-and-run accident, reports The New York Times. On Friday, June 4, the Broadway veteran was reportedly on her way to meet her wife, Kathryn Kranhold, for a dinner party at a close friend's home near Lincoln Center when she was struck by a two-wheeler at 6:30 pm on West 64th and Amsterdam Avenue, according to friends and police, per New York Post. She was 65.
Banes' manager, David Williams, confirmed the news of her death to PEOPLE on Tuesday, sharing, "We are heartsick over Lisa's tragic and senseless passing."
"She was a woman of great spirit, kindness, and generosity and dedicated to her work, whether on stage or in front of a camera and even more so to her wife, family, and friends," he added. "We were blessed to have had her in our lives."
The Julliard alum had "a traumatic brain injury and was unable to recover," Williams told the outlet.
“I am brokenhearted to share that Lisa, my beautiful wife, and my love, passed away last night,” Banes’s wife Kathryn Kranhold said in a statement to Deadline. “We appreciate the love, support, and prayers from all of you across the country. Lisa was listening.”
Banes—who lived in Los Angeles—reportedly called Kranhold around 6:20 pm, telling her to meet up at Crossen’s pad near Lincoln Center. When Banes failed to show up after a while, Kranhold began to panic and started to frantically call her, but in vain. Eventually, someone at the hospital picked up to let the worried woman know what had happened.
The Gone Girl actor was in the crosswalk and reportedly had the right of way when the motorbike driver ran a red light and continued northbound. “No one knows for sure. Some witnesses said it was a scooter. Some said it was a motorcycle with no plate,” an NYPD spokesman said. She was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury. Sgt. Edward Riley, a police spokesman said on Tuesday and added that no arrests had been made but the suspect is a male.
Friends said that Banes was excited to return to New York for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. "She loves, loves, loves New York," pal Cynthia Crossen said. "She's an L.A. girl but she spent so many happy years here."
Pedestrians who witnessed the accident also said that there need to be a few more rules in place to put an end to such situations. “There has to be a way to force these riders to respect the law. It’s not fair that pedestrians can do everything right and follow the rules and still get run over,” said Lisa Figueroa-Capo. A devastated Kranhold said, “It feels like it is a lawless roadway."
RIP Lisa Banes, a superb actress and much beloved, especially by the theater community. I only knew Lisa a bit, but I treasured her performances and her elegant, generous style. She was killed in a hit and run in NYC, while on her way to dinner with her wife, Kathryn Kranhold pic.twitter.com/A5LfQnC6r8— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) June 15, 2021
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Photo by Larry Busacca