Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as “Waitress,” “A Bronx Tale” and “Bullets Over Broadway,” has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. He was 41.
Cordero, who was born in Hamilton, Ont., died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai hospital after more than 90 days in the hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots. “God has another angel in heaven now,” she posted on Instagram. “Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband.”
Cordero entered the emergency room on March 30 and had a succession of health setbacks, including mini-strokes, blood clots, septic infections, a tracheostomy and a temporary pacemaker implanted. He had been on a ventilator and unconscious and had his right leg amputated. A double lung transplant was being explored.
View this post on Instagram
God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. ⠀ I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday. ⠀ To Nicks extraordinary doctor, Dr. David Ng, you were my positive doctor! There are not many doctors like you. Kind, smart, compassionate, assertive and always eager to listen to my crazy ideas or call yet another doctor for me for a second opinion. You’re a diamond in the rough. ⠀ ⠀ I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the outpour of love , support and help we’ve received these last 95 days. You have no idea how much you lifted my spirits at 3pm everyday as the world sang Nicks song, Live Your Life. We sang it to him today, holding his hands. As I sang the last line to him, “they’ll give you hell but don’t you light them kill your light not without a fight. Live your life,” I smiled because he definitely put up a fight. I will love you forever and always my sweet man. ❤️
The Broadway and acting community was in anguish after news of Cordero’s death, with Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeting “What a loss, what a light” and Bernadette Peters “sending love” to his widow and infant son. Many asked people to wear masks in his honour.
Viola Davis was also among those in mourning, writing to his family that “my heart is with you all.” Fellow Broadway actress and president of Actors’ Equity Association Kate Shindle wrote on Twitter that she was “heartbroken for his family and deeply saddened by the loss of this talented and widely loved actor.”
During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis, so he could see them if he woke up, and urged friends and fans to join a daily sing-a-long. A GoFundMe page to pay for medical expenses has raised over $600,000.
“I tell him, I say, ‘You’re gonna walk out of this hospital, honey. I believe it. I know you can,’” she told “CBS This Morning” this summer. ”‘We’re gonna dance again. You’re gonna hold your son again.’ My line is, ‘Don’t get lost. Get focused.’”
If you are able. There are broken hearts tonight.
Fundraiser for Amanda Kloots by Erin Silver : Support Amanda Kloots Nick Cordero & Elvis https://t.co/aMyPrNXESc
— Sarah Paulson (@MsSarahPaulson) July 6, 2020
The lanky Cordero originated the menacing role of husband Earl opposite his estranged wife, played by Jessie Mueller, in “Waitress” as well as the role of Sonny in Chazz Palminteri’s “A Bronx Tale.” It was at “Bullets Over Broadway” where Cordero met his wife. The two married in 2017.
Castmembers from “Waitress” — Jessie Mueller, Keala Settle, Kimik Glenn and songwriter Sara Bareilles — helped raise money for Cordero by covering his song “Live Your Life.” Sylvester Stallone sent a video with best wishes.
Kloots had said that it was difficult to tell whether Cordero understood happened to him, but said he could respond to commands by looking up and down when he was alert.
Her husband played a mob soldier with a flare for the dramatic in Broadway’s Woody Allen 1994 film adaptation of “Bullets Over Broadway,” for which he received a Tony nomination for best-featured actor in a musical. He and his family moved to Los Angeles to star in “Rock of Ages.”
On the small screen, Cordero appeared in several episodes of “Blue Bloods” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and he had a role in the film “Going in Style.”
Actor and guitarist for Bruce Springsteen Stevie Van Zandt offered Cordero his first TV acting gig in the final episode of “Lilyhammer.” After he was hospitalized, Van Zandt teamed up with Constantine Maroulis and Vincent Pastore to make a video performing “Live Your Life.”
Cordero was last onstage in a Kennedy Center presentation of “Little Shop of Horrors.” His off-Broadway credits include “The Toxic Avenger” and “Brooklynite.”
The virus has sickened other Broadway veterans, including the actors Danny Burstein, Tony Shalhoub, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Gavin Creel, Aaron Tveit and Laura Bell Bundy as well as composer David Bryan. It has also claimed the life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally.
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press