NEW YORK – 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 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.
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 honor.
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.’”
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.