Chris Peluso, Broadway Actor Who Starred in 'Mamma Mia!' and 'Wicked,' Dead at 40

Chris Peluso
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Chris Peluso's other stage credits included 'Lestat,' 'The Glorious Ones,' and 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.'

Chris Peluso, an actor and singer known for his theater work, including Mamma Mia! on Broadway, has died. He was 40.

Peluso's family confirmed his death to Playbill. The outlet reported that the actor's "sudden passing" on Aug. 15 came a year after he "stepped away from theatre work to seek treatment for a schizoaffective disorder." No further details were provided.

The University of Michigan, Peluso's alma mater, posted a tribute to the late star on its musical-theatre department's Instagram page.

"The Michigan Musical Theatre family is heartbroken as we announce the passing of our dear family member/alum, the loving, charismatic, and divinely gifted Chris Peluso," wrote Linda Goodrich, interim chair of the school's musical-theatre department.

Goodrich called out some of Peluso's most notable roles, including his Great White Way debut as The Balladeer in Assassins on Broadway, Lestat, The Glorious Ones and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He also played Sky in Mamma Mia! on Broadway in 2008, and he both starred and covered the role of Fiyero in multiple tours of Wicked.

"Our hearts go out to his family," Goodrich wrote.

Peluso's peers shared their condolences and tributes to the actor on the post, including Broadway star Desi Oakley who wrote, "I learned so much from his kindness & professionalism," and added, "I am sending so much love to all who walked closely with him."

SEAL Team actor Toni Trucks wrote, "This is devastating. I only have wonderful memories of Chris. I am holding tight to all of the light he shared. So kind. So funny. So giving. So talented and loving."

Last September, a GoFundMe was started on behalf of Peluso, asking for contributions for mental-health treatment amid a previous diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder that "resulted in Chris experiencing debilitating paranoia, which has kept him from performing in recent years."

In November, Peluso wrote in an update that he had completed treatment and was "stable and doing well."

"I'm able to hold down a job again and even began taping some auditions," he added. "It's going to be a life long process of going to therapy and working with doctors but I'm so much better than I was before treatment. It really means the world to me to have such incredible support from you all. None of this progress would have been possible without you."

The GoFundMe raised more than $25,000 before donations were paused.

Peluso is survived by his wife, Jessica Gomes, whom he wed in 2018, and their two children: daughter Aria Li and son Caio Lian.