Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and more pay tribute to Jacqueline Avant following fatal shooting

Avant, 81, was gunned down in her home Tuesday night, a violent crime that has shocked much of Los Angeles and the entire Black community.

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The outpouring of love for the Avant family in the wake of the murder of matriarch Jacqueline Avant continues on social media. 

Avant, the 81-year-old philanthropist, was gunned down in her own Trousdale Estates, Beverly Hills, residence Tuesday night in an apparent home invasion, a violent crime that has shocked much of Los Angeles and the Black community as a whole. The wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant — to whom she’d been married for 54 years — was the mother of Alexander Avant, a producer, actor and writer, and Nicole Avant, the former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. 

The outpouring of love for the Avant family after the murder of matriarch Jacqueline Avant (above) is continuing on social media this week. (Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images)

Television icon Oprah Winfrey sent her condolences in a message on Twitter, writing, “I’ve spent the day numbed and in shock. I can only imagine how the Avant family feels. Jacqueline Avant was the classiest, kindest, and most calming presence. The fact that this has happened, her being shot and killed in her own home, after giving, sharing, and caring for 81 years has shaken the laws of the Universe. The world is upside down. And deeply in need of some love today.” 

“Heartbroken and sad for the Avant family! What occurred is absolutely sickening. Sending my sincerest condolences to Clarence and Nichole Avant and their entire family,” tweeted actress/director Halle Berry. 

Veteran music executive Sylvia Rhone wrote on Instagram that she was “so shocked and saddened by the news of Jackie Avant’s passing. Such a beautiful woman inside and out. A woman, a wife, a mother who exuded intelligence, graciousness…and early supporter of black artists and helping young black underprivileged children. Your positivity, style and spirit surrounds us. Sending my love to Clarence, Nicole, and Alex and the thousands of friends that are processing this tragedy.”

On Twitter, longtime celebrity hairstylist Elgin Charles wrote: “I am gutted by news of the tragic passing of Jacqueline Avant, who I’ve known for well over 30yrs, and who I spent time with just recently. Sending my deepest condolences to Clarence, Nicole, Alex and the entire Avant family.” 

With an attached photo collection of the Avants over decades compiled by Essence, Rev. Bernice A. King tweeted simply, “I just don’t have the words…I’m praying for the Avant family.” 

The Rich and the Ruthless actress Victoria Rowell wrote on Twitter: “Rest In Peace #JacquelineAvant an absolute lady, visionary, teacher, mentor, legendary supporter of ARTS and education — a docent, preserver of Japanese arts who supported foster children, ALL children. A great mother & wife. Condolences to the Avant family.” 

Observed rap artist and media personality Rob Markman: “The murder of Jacqueline Avant is sickening.” 

In a brief statement read at Wednesday’s press conference by Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook, the Avant family said, “Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist and 55-year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable, positive contribution and impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped through her amazing life.”

Stainbrook told those assembled he didn’t “think it was a random attack.”

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