Coronavirus Chronicles: Nick Cordero, Talented Actor in Broadway Musicals, Dies of COVID-19 Complications at 41

Nick Cordero, the Tony-nominated actor known for Bullets Over Broadway, Waitress and A Bronx Tale the Musical, died Sunday after a fierce battle with the coronavirus, his wife said. He was 41.

 

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Rock of Ages Hollywood
Nick Cordero

Cordero had come to L.A. to star as Bourbon Room owner Dennis Dupree in an immersive adaptation of the long-running Broadway hit Rock of Ages in a new space on Hollywood Boulevard. He had played the role years ago in a national tour and on Broadway, and the new version of the musical opened in January.

Survivors include his wife, fitness instructor and former Broadway dancer Amanda Kloots, who chronicled his health struggles on social media, and their son, Elvis, born in June 2019. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

“God has another angel in heaven now,” Kloots 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.

“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, everyday.”

In 2014, Cordero received a Tony nomination and a Theatre World award for his tap-dancing turn as the ghostwriting crook Cheech in the musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway. (Chazz Palminteri had earned an Oscar nom for his performance as Cheech in the 1994 movie.)

In 2016, Cordero played Earl Hunterson, the deadbeat husband of Jessie Mueller’s Jenna, in the hit Waitress, then left after a few months to star as Sonny — another gangster character made famous by Palminteri — in A Bronx Tale the Musical, co-directed by Robert De Niro.

Noam Galai/Getty Images for Beyond Yoga
The Cordero family in August in New York City

Born on Sept. 17, 1978, in Hamilton, Ontario, Cordero attended Ryerson University in Toronto for two years before quitting to sing in a rock band called Lovemethod.

He played Tony in a Toronto production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and in 2009 he starred in the title role of the rock musical The Toxic Avenger, an off-Broadway take on the 1984 film.

Cordero played Dennis in national tour of Rock of Ages, then bowed on Broadway in the ’80s-set musical when he joined the cast in 2012.

In 2018, he starred as sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

On television, Cordero played Victor Lugo, who led a gang of car thieves, on 3 episodes of the CBS drama Blue Bloods, and his film résumé included Going in Style (2017), directed by Bullets Over Broadway co-star Zach Braff.