Canadian actor Nick Cordero, who found success playing tough guys on Broadway, has died at the age of 41.
He died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after COVID-19 complications that lasted more than 90 days and included an amputated leg and seven weeks in a medically induced coma.
His wife, actor and dancer Amanda Kloots, shared the news 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,” she wrote. Their son Elvis turned one last month.
Two weeks later, his right leg was amputated because of blood clots, Kloots said. Over the course of his hospitalization, he lost 65 pounds and endured septic shock, two “mini strokes,” kidney dialysis, and the insertion of a temporary pacemaker. He awoke from roughly seven weeks in a medically induced coma on May 5, Kloots said in an update.
Kloots was unable see her husband for 79 days due to COVID-19 restrictions at the hospital. Last week, she told “CBS This Morning” that while her husband had since tested negative for coronavirus and was awake from his coma, he was still critically ill and would likely need a double lung transplant.
During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their son so Cordero 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.
Cordero was born in Hamilton, Ont. and studied at Ryerson University’s School of Performance in Toronto. He dropped out after two years to sing with the band Lovemethod, he told the New York Times. Cordero starred in “Tony ’n Tina’s Wedding” in Toronto and worked on cruise ships before landing roles on Broadway stages in New York City.
Cordero, who was six feet, five inches tall, originated the role of the husband Earl in “Waitress” and played a convincing Sonny in “A Bronx Tale.”
In 2014, he was nominated for a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical for portraying a mob soldier with a flare for the dramatic in an adaptation of “Bullets Over Broadway.”
Cordero also had TV roles in “Blue Bloods” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
He had moved with his family to Los Angeles to star in “Rock of Ages,” when he got sick.
Colleagues, friends and fans mourned Cordero on social media.
Zach Braff, a close family friend of Cordero and Kloots, said in a social media tribute that Cordero died with his mother and wife by his side.
“I can honesty tell you I have never met a kinder human being,” he wrote. “Don’t believe that Covid only claims the elderly and infirm. I am so grateful for the time we had.”
With files from Andree Lau, and The Associated Press via CP