Tony-nominated Broadway star Nick Cordero, known for his work in Bullets Over Broadway, Rock of Ages, Waitress, and A Bronx Tale as well as television’s Blue Bloods, has died, more than 90 days after contracting the coronavirus. His wife, fitness trainer and dancer Amanda Kloots, tearfully announced the news on her Instagram, where she had been keeping fans updated on Cordero’s harrowing COVID-19 battle since he entered Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinal hospital in March. Cordero was 41 and had a 1-year-old son, Elvis.
“God has another angel in heaven now,” Kloots wrote on July 5. “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, every day.”
She continued, “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 3 p.m. every day as the world sang Nick’s 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 Canadian actor, born Sept. 17, 1978, grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and made his Off-Broadway debut as the title character in The Toxic Avenger. In 2012, he took on the role of aging club owner Dennis in the Broadway hit Rock of Ages, and two years later, his portrayal of tap-dancing gangster Cheech in the Broadway musical Bullets Over Broadway earned him Tony and Drama Desk nominations and wins at both the Outer Critics Circle Awards and Theatre World Awards. He received another Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for playing Sonny in 2016’s A Bronx Tale.
Cordero met Kloots, a former Rockette, six years ago when they worked together in Bullets Over Broadway; they married in September 2017. The couple welcomed a son, Elvis, in June 2019, and that same year, they relocated from New York to Los Angeles so that Cordero could reprise his role of Dennis in a Rock of Ages reboot at a new Hollywood Blvd. venue called the Bourbon Room. Cordero’s final Instagram photo, on March 19, was a photo of Kloots and Elvis to celebrate Kloots’s 38th birthday; in the caption he said he was “counting [his] blessings” during these trying times.
One day after that optimistic Instagram post, Cordero fell ill. While he was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, he later tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Cedars-Sinai’s intensive care unit, where doctors decided to put him on a ventilator. Cordero then developed multiple complications from the virus, starting with an infection in his lung that caused his fever to spike and blood pressure to drop; Kloots reported via her Instagram Stories that he had sustained major lung damage that involved "holes in his lungs.” During his stay in the hospital, Cordero was put on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine to support his heart and lungs and dialysis for his kidneys, and he underwent several surgeries, including the amputation of his right leg and the insertions of a tracheostomy tube and temporary pacemaker. Kloots maintained a positive outlook as she continued to document the many ups and downs of her husband’s rocky progress with emotional daily updates in her Instagram Stories. Just days before his death, it had been revealed that Cordero would need a double lung transplant.
In addition to his stage work and other TV roles in Queer as Folk, Lilyhammer, and Law and Order: SVU, Cordero was a musician and singer who once fronted the rock band Lovemethod. His 2018 solo single “Live Your Life” became an anthem during his coronavirus battle — with Kloots encouraging fans and friends to sing and dance to the song on Instagram every afternoon at 3 p.m. Pacific time, using the hashtag #wakeupnick (and, after Cordero regained consciousness from his medically induced coma, a new hashtag, #offthevent). Celebrities ranging from Zach Braff to Linda Perry to Cordero’s many Broadway co-stars took part in this and other musical social media campaigns, in an attempt to lift Cordero and Kloots’s spirits.
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