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Remembering Nick Cordero: Friends pay tribute to the ‘kid that made it big’ on Broadway

COVID-19 claims the life of Canadian broadway star Nick Cordero
WATCH: Family, friends and fans of the theatre world are mourning the loss of Canadian actor and Broadway star Nick Cordero. The 41-year-old died of COVID-19 complications. He was in the hospital for three months.

Tributes poured in from friends, family members and fans worldwide a day after the death of Nick Cordero.

“Nick was that stereotypical success story that happened so very rarely,” said Tim Denis, a member of the board of directors with the Hamilton Theatre Inc. (HTI). “But he was the epitome of, you know, they were the kid who made it big from Hamilton.”

Denis remembers the 15-year-old in a local version of The Boys From Syracuse put together by the HTI and says the six-foot Cordero could really sing and dance.

Read more: Canadian actor Nick Cordero, 41, dies after months-long battle with COVID-19 complications

“When you were doing community theatre (and) trying to find guys who could do both, with Nick you really hit the mother lode,” Denis told Global News. “Nick, although he was pretty tall, actually had an incredible grace to him.”

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The Hamilton-born, Tony Award-nominated Cordero died on Sunday morning after a months-long battle with complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to wife Amanda Kloots.

“My darling husband passed away this morning,” Kloots wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday night. “He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth.”

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God has another angel in heaven now. 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. ⠀ To Nicks extraordinary doctor, Dr. David Ng, you were my positive doctor! There are not many doctors like you. Kind, smart, compassionate, assertive and always eager to listen to my crazy ideas or call yet another doctor for me for a second opinion. You’re a diamond in the rough. ⠀ ⠀ 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 3pm everyday as the world sang Nicks 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. ❤️

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An alumnus from Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton, Cordero left the city to attend Ryerson University in Toronto before embarking on a music career that would eventually take him to Broadway for title roles in Toxic Avenger, Rock of Ages and Bullets Over Broadway.

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Fellow Rock of Ages co-star and Americal Idol semifinalist Constantine Maroulis said Cordero brought a “whole new energy” to the show when it started its 2010 off-Broadway run.

“I was skeptical meeting the new cast that I was going to spend the next couple of years on the road with,” Maroulis told Global News. “And Nick just had this coolness and this ease about him.”

Maroulis said he and Cordero “bonded from Day one” and were roommates during a national tour.

“We are just, we’re just devastated, and our hearts are broken. Our hearts are broken,” said Maroulis.

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I have always loved sharing my September birthday with the great @nickcordero1. Usually I post this shot on that very day. It always felt like we were kindred spirits in a way. So many great memories on stage and off. Somehow we both got Tony Nominated then later became fathers and every 9/17 we would reconnect if we had lost touch at all during the year. Which was rare. I looked up to him. Not just because of how tall he was but for WHAT he was. A great man. A great talent. A great friend. A great warrior. A beloved husband and father. A legend to our Rock of Ages family… It is with great sadness to report per his Earth Angel @amandakloots that after 91 days in the ICU battling the effects of the Coronavirus and inspiring us all with his strength and waking up from a coma, our brother Nick Cordero has come to the end of his story…✨ There really are no words. Truly gutted. Rest In Peace Niko. My heart is broken for Amanda and Elvis his son. Eternal be his memory. Zoi se mas. We will NEVER forget you! Deuce for life! 🙏🏼

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Come From Away co-star and Hamilton native Kristen Peace says it’s been very difficult to hear and watch what has happened to Cordero on social media.

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“You read the posts of people who just were reading about him or following Amanda Kloots stories that everyone was rooting for him and everyone was just hoping for the best,” Peace told Global News.

 

Peace says one of her fondest memories of Cordero was when she tore ligaments in her ankle just days before starting a production with the Hamilton native a few years back. Peace says because she could barely walk, organizers told her she would likely have to be replaced.

“And Nick immediately rushed in and was like, I’ll carry her. I’ll carry her, ” Peace said, “I’m just thinking, like, what? What do you mean you’re gonna carry me? He’s like, we’ll figure it out. I’ll carry her, carry her on and off stage. I’ll carry her to where she needs to go.”

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I love you. Always have. Always will.

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On Thursday, during a pre-taped appearance on U.S. television, Kloots revealed the Broadway star would likely need a double lung transplant in his fight, saying there was a 99 per cent chance “he would be needing that.”

Kloots went on to say that Cordero’s body is “extremely weak” and that his muscles have atrophied.

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“So he can’t move his body yet. He can still open his eyes. And when he is alert and awake, he’ll answer commands by looking up or down, yes or no questions,” she said.

Cordero’s hospitalization started in late March when he was admitted to Cedars-Sinai for what initially was believed to be pneumonia. He was eventually diagnosed with COVID-19 and battled complications, including lung infections and septic shock.

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amandakloots / Instagram
amandakloots / Instagram. amandakloots / Instagram

Last month, Kloots said Cordero had been receiving antibiotics with the possibility of a stem cell treatment to address damage in his lungs.

The Ohio native, who updated her husband’s progress regularly on social media, said Cordero had to endure a medically induced coma weeks after having his right leg amputated as a result of the complications.

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“You will NEVER be forgotten. You will be loved forever. I feel numb,” said fellow Hamilton-born actress and Broadway veteran Caissie Levy in a tweet.

“My sincere condolences to his family, friends and all who loved him and his art,” said Hamilton-area MP and federal Minister of Labour Filomena Tassi in social media post.

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Cordero’s last Instagram post was March 19, on Kloots’ birthday. The Broadway star paid tribute to his wife for making the world a “better place.”

“These days I’m counting my blessings. This one is top of the list,” Cordero said in the post. “To say I’m thankful for her is the greatest understatement. She only spreads love in the world and does her best to make it a better place.”

 

In an Instagram post, fellow Bullets Over Broadway star Zach Braff shared the last text he received from Cordero, which asked Braff to “look out” for his wife and one-year-old son, Elvis, and promise “they will never want for anything.”

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“I have honestly never known a kinder person. But COVID doesn’t care about the purity of your soul, or the goodness in your heart,” said Braff.

 

Other notable personalities who shared their respects on social media Sunday night were actor and former teen idol Hilary Duff, actor Alec Baldwin and Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis.

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@amandakloots ♥️

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Rest In Peace Nick Cordero @amandakloots

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A GoFundMe campaign to support Cordero’s wife and son had more than doubled its fundraising goal as of Monday afternoon.

The page was launched in April with a fundraising goal of $400,000 and had raised more than $870,000 as of July 6.

“She needs to pay for the hospital bills, which are already starting to come,” campaign organizers said in a post.

In early May, Kloots expressed her thanks to the many who donated, saying she “cannot believe” the number of people who supported the cause.

“I want to THANK everyone on behalf of Nick as well for the incredible donations we have received! I am BLOWN AWAY and in disbelief,” said Kloots.

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Nick Cordero is a superstar. One night at the @drake.hotel he started singing next to me, and that thing happened, that thing that happens when you learn something about someone for the first time when you thought you had them pegged. Nick is a superstar. I have never met another person who so humbly possessed the power to create to move to laugh to SING and never wear it on his sleeve. He’s like hanging out with a bud who you thought was just a bud but one night at a house party after a few drinks you find out he’s a Jedi when he picks up the neighbors house with his mind as a prank and goes back to the dance floor like it ain’t no thang. Nick Cordero is a superstar. He is the most kind and sweetest soul. My heart is broken for @amandakloots who right now is shattered. And little man Elvis. Your Dad is the best. I know his homies in Tdot are hurting today as well. Love to the family in both countries. He was taken too soon. RIP SWEET NICK.

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