Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who appeared in popular musicals such as “Waitress” and “A Bronx Tale” and inspired the world with his months-long struggle against the coronavirus, has died, his wife, Amanda Kloots, said Sunday. He was 41.
“God has another angel in heaven now,” she wrote on Instagram. “My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth.”
Born in Ontario, Canada, Cordero moved to New York in 2008 and was cast in the rock musical “The Toxic Avenger” at George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, which later moved off-Broadway to New World Stages.
He went on to appear in “Rock of Ages,” and was Tony Award-nominated for his featured role as Cheech in the 2014 musical “Bullets Over Broadway.” He joined the cast of “Waitress” in 2016, and left to originate the role of Sonny in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” later that year.
The Broadway and music communities celebrated a man whom many have worked with.
Steven Van Zandt, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, recently told The Post that Cordero was “a good friend, wonderful guy and a fantastic actor.”
“A Bronx Tale” co-director Jerry Zaks praised Cordero’s magnetism and innate leadership.
“Nick was one of the leaders of my team on ‘Bronx Tale,’” Zaks told The Post in early May. “Everyone watches the leader, you know. When I was doing ‘Dolly,’ everyone was watching Bette [Midler] and David Hyde Pierce. When I say ‘watching,’ I mean taking their cue about how to conduct themselves in the rehearsal room.”
“Nick is the epitome of grace and decency and civility.”
The theater community had rallied around Cordero since he was hospitalized in Los Angeles with what doctors initially thought was a severe case of pneumonia on April 1. As Cordero’s condition worsened, and he tested positive for COVID-19, the actor was put in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
When Kloots, a fitness trainer and the mother of Cordero’s 11-month-old son, named Elvis, noticed that her husband’s blood pressure improved when his nurses played Elvis Presley’s song “Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do!,” she encouraged others to post videos of themselves singing and dancing to the tune along with the hashtag #wakeupnick.
“I just got to FaceTime with Nick and I played him this song and sang at the same time,” Kloots wrote on Instagram April 12. “His nurse leaned over while I was playing and said ‘His blood pressure just got better!’ SO please BLAST this song today in your homes at 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST for @nickcordero1 because my husband has a whole lot of livin to do!!!!”
Although Cordero did eventually wake up from the coma and repeatedly tested negative for the virus, he faced more health struggles. His right leg was amputated and doctors discovered holes in the actor’s lungs.
Cordero’s condition in intensive care while on a ventilator was at a “standstill,” Kloots said in late May, though the family was hoping for the best despite a lung infection.
“I am still praying for a miracle,” Kloots said in an Instagram story on May 30. “Sometimes that prayer is answered in the way we ask and sometimes it’s answered in a way we could never understand.”