Los Angeles: Actor and singer best known for his Broadway and stage performances, Chris Peluso passed away at the age of 40, People reported.
Peluso’s family reportedly told Playbill that the performer passed away abruptly on August 15. He is survived by his wife of one year, Jessica Gomes, and his two little children, Aria Li and Caio Lian.
The University of Michigan, Peluso’s alma institution, also paid tribute to the late actor on its Instagram page for the musical-theatre department.
“The Michigan Musical Theatre family is heartbroken as we announce the passing of our dear family member, the loving, charismatic, and divinely gifted Chris Peluso,” wrote Linda Goodrich, interim chair of the school’s musical-theatre department.
Goodrich listed a few of Peluso’s major performances, such as his Broadway debut in Assassins, Lestat, The Glorious Ones, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He also appeared as Sky in Mamma Mia! on Broadway in 2008 and as Fiyero in the Wicked tour.
“Our hearts go out to his family,” Goodrich added.
In addition to the American plays, Peluso also performed in a U.K. tour of Funny Girl, Show Boat, Miss Saigon, The Woman in White, and Death Takes a Holiday in London, according to Playbill.com. He also played Tony and Marius, respectively, in productions of West Side Story and Les Miserables.
Peluso was also pursuing a master’s degree in therapeutic counselling, according to his résumé on the Artists and Beyond website, in part “to help students navigate the anxieties inherent in a career in the arts.”
Last year in September, a GoFundMe page was created in Peluso’s name requesting for donations for mental health care due to a prior diagnosis of schizoaffective disease, which “resulted in Chris experiencing debilitating paranoia, which has kept him from performing in recent years.”
Peluso stated in a November update to the ‘GoFundMe’ that he had finished treatment and was stable and doing well. The GoFundMe garnered more than $25,000 before donations were halted.
“I’m able to hold down a job again and even began taping some auditions,” he added.
“It’s going to be a life long process of going to therapy and working with doctors but I’m so much better than I was before treatment. It really means the world to me to have such incredible support from you all. None of this progress would have been possible without you.”