Nick Cordero’s family and friends gathered for a virtual memorial on Sunday to honor the Broadway star, who passed away at 41 following complications from the coronavirus.
His wife Amanda Kloots wanted it to be a celebration of life, explaining, “Nick would want this memorial to be a celebration — something that makes people smile, that makes people sing, that makes people remember his life in a beautiful way. Nick always felt so blessed. He always said that to me.” She also shared that fans can donate to the Save the Music Foundation in Nick’s honor.
The service, which streamed on Broadway on Demand, paid tribute to his Broadway and TV career. One special moment included 150 family members, friends, and colleagues singing “One of the Great Ones” from “A Bronx Tale.” Nick starred as Sonny in the musical, and his memorial included modified lyrics in his honor.
Later, his mother Lesley remembered Nick, calling him “larger than life,” while having “the amazing ability to create really close connections with people.”
“You could be talking to him in a crowded room and he could make you feel like you were the only person there,” she said.
Lesley continued, “Nick was a seeker. Being successful in one area or one geographical location wasn’t enough for him. He had to try all facets of the performance industry and there were so many more that I know that he wanted to do.”
Amanda recalled how Nick nearly gave up on acting before landing his Tony-nominated role as Cheech in “Bullets over Broadway.”
The director, Susan Stroman, looked back at their first meeting, saying, “I had never seen Nick before or even heard of, but the minute that 6-foot-5-inch man walked through the door and used that sultry voice, I said, ‘This is Cheech.’ He was a humble, gentle, kind, and gracious man. He felt music in every bone of his body. He was a joy to watch rehearse and grow and grow and grow into the part.”
She also recalled watching Nick and Amanda fall in love. “They were both filled with kindness,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier that they found each other. Amanda, Nick, and [their son] Elvis together were a bundle of all that is good and beautiful in life.”
Robert De Niro, who co-directed “A Bronx Tale,” also attended, and shared this heartfelt message: “We’ll all meet up there someday, but he left way, way, way too soon.”
Nick, who passed away July 5, will be honored again Sept. 17, on what would have been his 42nd birthday, with the release of his “Live Your Life” live album.