Mark Blum, a veteran actor known for his roles in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan and Netflix’s You, has died at the age of 69.
Blum passed away on Wednesday at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital due to coronavirus disease-related complications, his wife, actress Janet Zarish, said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The executive vice president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), Rebecca Damon, also confirmed Blum’s death on Twitter.
“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.”
Blum is survived by his wife Janet, mother Lorraine, and sister Nancy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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. Mark was a dedicated Screen Actors Guild and SAG-AFTRA board member serving from 2007-2013, pic.twitter.com/aA3yPfOwh7
— Rebecca Damon (@RebeccaDamonNYC) March 26, 2020
Emotional tributes on Twitter
Following the news of Blum’s death, fans and colleagues have been posting heartfelt and emotional tributes on Twitter.
Mark Blum, so generous, so kind, so humble,so talented. Our time together in the play The Assembled Parties at MTC was a true joy
May he rest in peace knowing that he transformed the lives of so many and was cherished by so many; me among them
— JudithLight (@JudithLight) March 26, 2020
When I was in drama school Mark Blum was exactly the kind of actor I aspired to be: constantly employed, deeply respected, total mensch. Gutted to hear of his passing. His wife Janet Zarish was my acting teacher at NYU. They were the loveliest couple. My heart breaks for her. https://t.co/J7MvHutdge
— Josh Radnor (@JoshRadnor) March 26, 2020
Oh this is devastating. The brilliant and generous Mark Blum was such a life giving force in New York theater. We will miss you dearly. https://t.co/yrUkQ6rXOo
— Heidi Schreck (@heidibschreck) March 26, 2020
Theater company Playwrights Horizons also posted a tribute to the veteran stage actor.
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. pic.twitter.com/NMVZFB5hPb
— Playwrights Horizons (@phnyc) March 26, 2020
Madonna, who co-starred with Blum in the 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan, posted a touching tribute on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
I Want to Acknowledge the Passing of a remarkable Human, fellow actor and friend Mark Blum, who succumbed to Coronavirus. This is really tragic and my heart goes out to him, his family and his loved ones. I remember him as funny warm, loving .and professional when we made Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985!! Another reminder that this virus is no joke, nothing to be casual about or pretend wont affect us in some way. ♥️ we need to stay grateful -be hopeful- help each other-and follow the quarantine rules! #covid_19 #markblum #desperatelyseekingsusan
Blum’s death comes after Monsters and Critics reported the death of Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally on Tuesday, at the age of 81. According to McNally’s representative, Matt Polk, he died from complications due to coronavirus illness.
Stuart Gordon, a veteran theater and screen actor, also passed away on Tuesday at the age of 72.
Mark Blum bio
Mark Blum was born in Newark, New Jersey, in May 1950. He attended the University of Pennsylvania.
Blum’s career started on Broadway in the 1970s. He worked as an understudy and assistant stage manager in the Broadway production of The Merchant (1977).
He appeared in several other Broadway productions, including Lost in Yonkers (1991), the two revivals of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (2000, 2012), Twelve Angry Men (2004), and The Assembled Parties (2013).
He also appeared in off-Broadway theater productions of The Singing Forest, It’s Only a Play, The Waverly Gallery, After the Revolution, and We Live Here.
He also appeared in an off-Broadway production of Fern Hill in September 2019. He co-starred in the production with John Glover, Mark-Linn Baker, and Jill Eikenberry, according to THR.
In 1989, he won an Obie Award for his role in Playwrights Horizons’ production of Albert Innaurato’s Gus and Al (1988).
He was probably best known for co-starring with Madonna and Rosanna Arquette as Gary Glass in the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan. Blum also appeared in Just Between Friends, Crocodile Dundee, Blind Date, The Presidio, Denise Calls Up, and Shattered Glass.
He appeared on TV shows such as NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, The Blacklist, and The West Wing. Blum also had appearances on the Netflix crime drama You, HBO’s Succession, Showtime’s Billions, and Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle.