TORONTO — Hamilton-raised theatre star Nick Cordero, who had legions of supporters rallying for him on social media during his harrowing health battle with COVID-19, has died in Los Angeles.
His wife, dancer-turned-celebrity personal trainer Amanda Kloots, said Cordero died on Sunday morning, “surrounded in love by his family.”
He was 41.
“My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him,” Kloots wrote 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.”
The Tony Award-nominated actor, singer and musician first entered hospital in L.A. at the beginning of April with what was seemingly a case of pneumonia, said Kloots.
Doctors suspected it was the novel coronavirus and administered three tests for it.
The first two tests came back negative and the third was positive for COVID-19.
The disease ravaged his body, according to Kloots, who kept the world updated on his situation daily with posts on her Instagram account.
She said doctors described his lungs as being riddled with holes and looking as if he’d been smoking for 50 years, even though he wasn’t a smoker.
He had a lingering lung infection and major complications from the disease, including blood pressure problems and clotting issues that led to the amputation of his right leg.
Cordero was in an intensive care unit on various machines to help support his heart, lungs and kidneys.
He was in a medically-induced coma but had come out of it before his death.
Kloots put on a brave face on her Instagram account, posting positive messages and often appearing with their son, Elvis, who just had his first birthday.
She encouraged everyone to play Cordero’s song “Live Your Life” to help send positive vibes for him into the universe.
Her plea spurred countless Instagram users, including some celebrities and Broadway stars, to post videos of themselves dancing to “Live Your Life” and performing various incarnations of it.
Kloots said that on Sunday, she sang the song to him in person, holding his hands.
As I sang the last line to him, ‘they’ll give you hell but don’t you (let) them kill your light not without a fight. Live your life,’ I smiled because he definitely put up a fight,” she wrote.
Along with her daily “Nick update” on her account, Kloots also often told heartwarming stories of their relationship and life together.
She said they struck up a relationship while they were performing on the Great White Way in “Bullets Over Broadway,” which earned him the Tony nomination.
Cordero grew up in Hamilton’s west end and attended Ryerson University for acting.
He was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his role in the musical “A Bronx Tale.” His other stage credits included “Rock of Ages.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press