For most of us, the coronavirus pandemic is a shadowy threat, a monster we can’t see that silently stalks the streets. Although we’re all (hopefully) practicing safe social distancing and washing our hands regularly, it’s easy to ignore the risks as long as you and your loved ones are still healthy.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for these celebrities and public figures who have passed away from COVID-19.
59-year-old celebrity Floyd Cardoz, who won the third season of “Top Chef Masters,” passed away from the coronavirus on March 25. Cardoz famous donated his winnings from the reality competition to a children’s hospital. The beloved chef authored two cookbooks and was known for his bold flavors at Tabla and Bombay Bread Bar in New York City.
“It is with deep sorrow that we inform you of the passing away of Chef Floyd Cardoz (59 years), Co-Founder, Hunger Inc. Hospitality, on March 25, 2020 in New Jersey, USA,” a statement from his family read. “He is survived by his mother Beryl, wife Barkha and sons Justin and Peter.
Veteran actor Mark Blum, who appeared in dozens of films and television series over his career, died due to complications from the coronavirus on March 26. Blum most recently had a role in the addictive Netflix series “You” as bookstore owner Mr. Moody. He also starred in “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee” in the 1980s.
“With love and heavy hearts, Playwrights Horizons pays tribute to Mark Blum, a dear longtime friend and a consummate artist who passed this week. Thank you, Mark, for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you,” the theater company Playwrights Horizons announced on Twitter.
New York City Drag Queen Mona Foot passed away on March 23 from what was believed to be COVID-19. Wooden was an HIV-positive person and therefore in the vulnerable group of immunocompromised individuals. Wooden was just 50 years old.
“I lost my best friend today from the coronavirus: Nashom Wooden,” fashion designer Geoffrey Mac announced in a tearful Instagram video. “And I just want to make sure that everybody out there stays healthy and takes care of each other because the virus is really real. And I’m just so sorry.”
Playwright Terrence McNally–who was immunocompromised following a battle with lung cancer–passed away on March 24. McNally also lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, requiring him to remain on oxygen. The prolific author wrote a number of Tony Award-winning plays and musicals, including “Ragtime” and “The Full Monty.”
McNally won a lifetime achievement just last year at the Tony Awards, recognizing his incredible body of work.