Published 2:46 PM EDT Sep 7, 2020
More than 100 Broadway stars honored Nick Cordero in a virtual memorial tribute two months after the Tony Award-nominated actor died from the complications of coronavirus.
Robert De Niro, Audra McDonald, Cordero’s wife Amanda Kloots and his castmates from “Rock of Ages,” “Waitress” and “Bullets Over Broadway” said their goodbyes to Cordero in the nearly two-hour tribute on Broadway on Demand, which also featured past performances, new musical eulogies and photos of Cordero with his family, friends and co-workers.
De Niro, who directed Cordero in the musical adaptation of his 1993 film “A Bronx Tale,” expressed his condolences to Kloots, the couple’s baby Elvis, and the rest of the Cordero family.
“I feel just so sad about what’s happened to Nick,” he said. “It shouldn’t have happened. I don’t know what I can say except that you have all my love and support and condolences, sympathy, whatever. It just, for me, is an unimaginable thing that happened. … We’ll all meet up there one day, but he left way, way, way too soon.”
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The memorial, which initially aired Sunday evening, was free of charge with donations accepted to benefit the Save the Music Foundation, which aids music programs in public schools.
“He really believed that the greatest lesson in life was to evolve into a more caring, humble human being,” said his mother, Lesley Cordero. “One of the big lessons he left us was to go and try and do something every day that terrifies you. That’s how Nick lived his life: He did everything he wanted to do and he would have continued, if given the chance.”
Cordero spent three months on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center battling the effects of COVID-19, including the amputation of his right leg, receiving a temporary pacemaker, being placed on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine and other procedures. He died July 5. He was survived by Kloots, a fellow actor and celebrity fitness trainer, and their young son, Elvis.
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“(Elvis) is just the most beautiful little boy and I’m so grateful that I have him, because he’s just a little spitting image of Nick,” Kloots said. “I love my husband so much and I am so proud of the fight that he did that I watched every single day as he fought for his life. My husband was a dreamer, he was everybody’s friend, he was an incredible husband and an amazing father, brother, son, best friend. He just was the kind of guy that everybody liked to have around.”
“Live Your Life,” a posthumous album of Cordero’s April 2019 one-man show at Feinstein’s/54 Below in Manhattan, is set to be released by Broadway Records on Sept. 17, what would have been Cordero’s 42nd birthday.
“I will miss you every day, sweetheart,” Kloots said. “I love you so much. Thank you for leaving us with your music.”
Contributing: Ilana Keller, Asbury Park Press