The coronavirus has claimed yet another victim.
Actor Mark Blum died on Wednesday due to complications from COVID-19, Fox News reported. He was 69.
The actor’s now-widowed wife, Janet Zarish, confirmed his death in an email to Fox, writing:
My husband passed away yesterday, March 25th, from complications from the [coronavirus]. He died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
A tragic loss
Though Blum appeared in countless theatrical productions, movies, and television shows over the decades, he was arguably best known for starring in 1980s classic films like Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan. More recently, he starred in the Netflix series You, according to Fox.
His own acting career aside, Blum also was a leading figure in nurturing and protecting the acting careers of others while serving as a board member for the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
He is remembered fondly by many of his friends and former colleagues at the organization.
“It is with such deep sorrow that I’m writing to share the news that our friend and former board member Mark Blum has passed away as a result of complications from the coronavirus,” SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Rebecca Damon wrote in a statement posted to Twitter, according to Fox.
She went on: “Mark was a dedicated Screen Actors Guild and SAG-AFTRA board member serving from 2007-2013, a passionate champion for merger, and a tireless advocate for members. Those of us lucky enough to have known him will treasure our memories of a gifted actor, a master teacher, a loyal friend, and a beautiful human.”
A beloved Hollywood star
The Wrap reported that Blum, born in New Jersey, got his start in the entertainment industry on the theater stage in the 1970s before transitioning into movies and television in the 1980s — he starred in the hospital drama St. Elsewhere — and beyond.
He always maintained a presence in the New York theater scene, however, and delivered award-winning performances in countless productions both on and off-Broadway.
According to The Wrap, playwright Jack Canfora even called Blum “one of the most respected actors in New York.”
“He was one of the most respected actors in New York: a beacon of fierce intelligence, dry wit [and] deep kindness on stage and off,” Canfora tweeted Wednesday. “A tragic loss.”