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Broadway actor Nick Cordero dies at 41 after long battle with COVID-19

Broadway actor Nick Cordero with his wife, Amanda Kloots, and their son, Elvis.
Broadway actor Nick Cordero with his wife, Amanda Kloots, and their son, Elvis. Cordero had tested positive for COVID-19 in March.
(Getty Images for Beyond Yoga)

Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who appeared in the Broadway productions “Rock of Ages,” “Waitress,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and “A Bronx Tale: The Musical,” died Sunday morning after a long and difficult battle with COVID-19. He was 41.

His wife, Amanda Kloots, confirmed the news on her Instagram account. “God has another angel in heaven now,” she wrote. “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. I will love you forever and always my sweet man.”

Cordero tested positive for COVID-19 in March and was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he spent more than 90 days in the intensive care unit. During his hospital stay, he was given a temporary pacemaker, underwent a leg amputation and was put into a medically induced coma. He also had additional complications, including lung infections and septic shock.

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Kloots had been sharing updates on Cordero’s status on Instagram throughout his treatment. On March 31, she shared the news that he was in the ICU after “having a hard time breathing” and was initially misdiagnosed with pneumonia. Fans and former cast mates circulated a #wakeupnick hashtag on social media in support of Cordero, posting video clips of themselves dancing and singing along to his “Waitress” single “Live Your Life.”

The Hamilton, Ontario, native attended Ryerson University but dropped out to sing for the band Lovemethod. After leaving Canada for New York, he originated the role of Toxie in the off-Broadway production of “The Toxic Avenger.”

At 6 feet, 5 inches, Cordero was quite literally a towering figure in the theater community, revered for his trademark tough-guy stage persona and starring turns in energetic productions such as “Rock of Ages.” He gained a new army of supporters, however, as Kloots bravely and optimistically documented his turbulent coronavirus journey.

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Cordero got his start on Broadway in the 2012 production of “Rock of Ages” in which he played Record Company Man and Dennis — a part he recently reprised in a Hollywood revival of the show. In 2010 and 2011, he also performed on the “Rock of Ages” national tour.

“I hope the community gets behind it in the way it should,” Cordero told the Los Angeles Times at the musical’s Hollywood Boulevard opening earlier this year. “This is a brand new and exciting way to see this show, even if you’ve seen it before. And with everything else going on in here, I can imagine that this is really gonna be a shot of adrenaline in the arm of the theater scene here.”

He earned a Tony nod and a Drama Desk nomination in 2014 for his role as Cheech in the musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway.” He also played Earl in “Waitress” and Sonny in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical,” which earned him an additional Drama Desk nomination.

Nick Cordero
Nick Cordero performs in Hollywood Boulevard’s “Rock of Ages.”
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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Off-stage, Cordero appeared in a handful of TV series, including “Queer as Folk” and “Lilyhammer” and a recurring role in “Blue Bloods” (as Victor Lugo) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Anthony Marino.

Kloots and Cordero met while starring together in “Bullets Over Broadway,” got engaged in March 2017 and married in September 2017. Cordero is survived by Kloots, a personal trainer and former Radio City Rockette, and their 1-year-old son, Elvis.

Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.


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