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Nick Cordero's life and legacy were remembered in a heartwarming tribute streamed on BroadwayOnDemand.com on Sunday evening. The late actor's friends and Broadway colleagues shared touching memories of Cordero's impact on stage, while his wife, Amanda Kloots, emotionally recounted their time together and his fight to live amid his health struggles.
Cordero died on July 5, following a lengthy hospitalization and numerous health complications due to COVID-19. He was 41.
Kloots opened Sunday's tribute, telling those watching that her husband "would want this memorial to be a celebration 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, 'I'm so blessed.' We lived such a blessed life, so I want to thank you for joining me tonight in this celebration of his life," she said, encouraging fans to donate to Save the Music in Cordero's honor. "All you have to do is text Cordero to 41444 if you'd like to make a donation."
Over the next two hours, Cordero's former castmates from productions including A Bronx Tale, The Toxic Avenger, Rock of Ages and Waitress appeared on screen. Photographs and videos of his life were displayed, and Kloots appeared again to discuss the show that changed his -- and her -- life, Bullets Over Broadway.
"Bullets Over Broadway, Nick would say changed his life, and it truly did. He was about to give up on performing," she said, revealing he was taking real estate courses at the time. "When he booked Bullets Over Broadway, I was standing next to him after the reading, and I was in awe of my husband-to-be. He worked so hard at this role and he earned a Tony nomination for it, and it truly did become a show that changed his life."
"Nick and I met during Bullets Over Broadway, fell in love, and then got married," she shared. "It was a pretty good showmance, if you ask me."
Then, moments from his and Kloots' wedding dance, her pregnancy, gender reveal, and birth of their son, Elvis, played on screen. The fitness trainer had tears in her eyes when she appeared again, recapping her and Cordero's relationship and last months together.
"Nick would always say that we were very different, that we shouldn't be together... but I truly believe it was our differences that made us a perfect match. We got married in 2017... it was perfect, and we had Elvis a couple years later, who is just -- you know, the most beautiful little boy, and I'm so grateful that I have him, because he's just the spitting image of him," Kloots shared.
"I love my husband so much, and I'm so proud of the fight that he did that I watched, every single day, as he fought for his life. My husband, he was a dreamer, he was everybody's friend, he was an incredible husband, an amazing father, brother, son, best friend. He just was the kind of guy that everybody liked to have around," she continued. "The last three months of Nick's life, he truly showed me what a strong person he was. Fighting every single day for his life, for me and for Elvis. I will miss you every single day sweetheart. I love you so much. Thank you for leaving us with your music."
The tribute special concluded with a segment on Cordero's music, including the song that Kloots finished after his death, "Not Far Away," and fans chiming in to sing "Live Your Life" to encourage him to wake up while he was in a coma.
"It seriously was a lifeline to me," Kloots said. "It was a lifeline for support."
"You’ve been gone two months today. There isn’t a day I haven’t missed you, cried for you and wished I could go back in time," she wrote alongside a sweet selfie of her and Cordero. "Please join me tomorrow in the public memorial for Nick on www.broadwayondemand.com - it will go live 4pm PST/7pm EST. There has been so much love going into making this memorial as special as Nick was. Thank you to any and all who gave their time and talent so graciously," she wrote.