Chris Peluso, a Broadway actor known for his theater work including “Mamma Mia!” and “Wicked,” has died. He was 40.
News of Peluso’s passing was confirmed by his family, according to Playbill. A cause of death has not been revealed.
“Broadway and West End talent Chris Peluso passed away August 15… Mr. Peluso was a beloved co-star and collaborator to many,” Playbill stated.
The devastating news comes a year after it was publicly announced that Peluso had stepped away from acting to seek treatment for a schizoaffective disorder.
Peluso portrayed Sky in “Mamma Mia!” and starred as Fiyero in multiple tours of “Wicked.”
The University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre department shared a special tribute to Peluso, who attended the school, after news of his death.
“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… Our hearts go out to his family,” the Interim Chair Linda Goodrich shared in a statement to Fox News Digital.
Last year, Peluso’s friends Rebecca LaChance and Tim Oxbrow organized a GoFundMe page on behalf of the Broadway star, titled “Mental Health Treatment for Chris Peluso.”
“But as many probably don’t know, Chris suffers from schizoaffective disorder. This diagnosis has resulted in Chris experiencing debilitating paranoia, which has kept him from performing in recent years,” the GoFundMe page stated.
“As well as affecting his capacity to work in the field he built his career in over the last 18 years, Chris’s mental health has affected every aspect of his life. In recent months, the paranoia has consumed him to the extent that he is unable to work any job and has had to leave his wife and young child and return to America to seek treatment.”
Peluso’s friends noted that the actor had no healthcare insurance in the U.S. and was hospitalized for two weeks. At the time, he was seeking treatment at an inpatient mental health rehabilitation center.
“Hopefully this helps bring some awareness to how so many suffer from mental illness in silence. You never know what someone may be going through. Be kind to each other,” Peluso previously shared on the GoFundMe.
Peluso rose to fame in 2004 for being a popular understudy on Broadway, by covering The Balladeer in the Tony-winning revival of the “Assassins.” Peluso’s other theater credits include both Louis and Nicolas in Elton John’s “Lestat,” and all three leading male roles in “Beautiful The Carole King Musical:” Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Don Kirshner, according to Playbill.
He additionally starred in “Miss Saigon” and “Showboat” in London. He also portrayed Nick Arnstein opposite Sheridan Smith in the U.K. tour of “Funny Girl.” His off-Broadway credits include the production of “The Glorious Ones.”
Peluso is survived by his wife, Jessica Gomes, their daughter Aria Li Gomes-Peluso and their son Caio Lian Gomes-Peluso, according to Playbill.
For consideration of being featured on WallstreetPR, contact: Editor@Wallstreetpr.com