'OUR Broadway Superstar:' Hamilton's Nick Cordero remembered for big heart, beautiful voice
'God has another angel in heaven now,' wrote the actor's wife Sunday night
Nick Cordero may have specialized in playing tough guys on stage, but to those who knew him growing up in Hamilton, he was a high school kid with a big heart and beautiful singing voice who became "OUR Broadway Superstar."
The city's theatre community is mourning the loss of the Tony-nominated actor who died in Los Angeles following severe medical complications after contracting COVID-19. He was 41.
Tributes and memories poured out online Sunday night following news of Cordero's death.
"Being fellow theatre kids from the Hammer made us part of a special club," wrote Lyla Miklos in a heartfelt post.
"I know the year you were nominated for a Tony Award, just about every member of Hamilton's theatre community was cheering you on and wiping away tears of joy after your live performance during the ceremony. You were OUR Broadway Superstar!!!"
David Dayler was Cordero's drama teacher at Hamilton's Westdale Secondary School and described him as a bold actor who was full of life and had an infectious energy.
"He was always smiling and encouraging. He was one of those performers who made other performers feel good about themselves," said Dayler.
"Although he was a star he still had so much more to offer and so much more to give. That's going to be a great loss."
Jeremy Fisher Jr., who went to Westdale with Cordero, described his "beautiful singing voice" along with "effortless charisma and big warm smile."
"This big man and his big heart fought a long tough battle with COVID the last three months," the JUNO-nominated singer added. "His will and determination was consistent with the person I knew him to be."
Cordero also performed with Hamilton Theatre Inc., which shared a message on social media Sunday night saying the theatre was "deeply saddened" by his death.
Studio manager and vice-president Dustin Jodway said it was clear very early on that Cordero, who could sing, dance and act, was going to make it big.
"He knew how to light up a stage," Jodway explained, adding the city's theatre family is collectively mourning his loss.
"Having Nick, coming from ... Hamilton and making it, really opened a lot of eyes for a lot of up-and-coming actors [and] theatre performers here in Hamilton to know it is possible as long as you continue to follow your dreams and you work at it.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi were among those who shared their condolences online.
"Nick made his hometown proud," tweeted the mayor. "May he rest in peace."
My deepest condolences go out to Nick Cordero’s family & friends on his passing; especially to his wife Amanda & son Elvis. I hope the outpouring of love & support from friends & fans brings you comfort during this time. Nick made his hometown proud. May he rest in peace. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> <a href="https://t.co/SojwJXWHYb">pic.twitter.com/SojwJXWHYb</a>—@HamiltonsMayor
Cordero entered the emergency room on March 30 and suffered a series of health setbacks, including mini-strokes, blood clots, sepsis infections, a tracheostomy and a temporary pacemaker implanted.
He had been on a ventilator and unconscious and had his right leg amputated. A double lung transplant was being explored before his death.
"Knowing you are no longer in pain and are at peace gives my soul some calm," wrote Miklos. "But my heart also aches. For your son Elvis who will never know his amazing father. For your beautiful wife Amanda who has been so brave and so strong and so courageous through all of this."
RIP Nick Cordero. 🎭💔😪 <br><br>“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” - William Shakespeare, Hamlet<a href="https://t.co/CiUPFJ3wp9">https://t.co/CiUPFJ3wp9</a> <a href="https://t.co/LxSySH5ia4">pic.twitter.com/LxSySH5ia4</a>—@lylamiklos
Cordero's wife, Amanda Kloots, provided regular updates about his condition on social media during his time in hospital.
"God has another angel in heaven now," she posted on Instagram Sunday night.
"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."
Dayler said his heart breaks for Cordero's family and especially his young son who "won't be able to get to know his dad the way those of us in the community have."
In her post, Miklos mentioned how much joy it brought her to bump into Cordero's family and hear the pride in their voices when they spoke about him.
"I enjoyed every moment of their Nick updates because I was proud of you too," she explained.
"Now cracks a noble heart," Miklos wrote, quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet. "Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
with files from the Associated Press