/Broadway Star Chris Peluso Dies At 40

Broadway Star Chris Peluso Dies At 40

Chris Peluso, a stage performer known for his roles in “Mamma Mia!” and “Wicked,” died on Tuesday at age 40.

Peluso’s family confirmed his death to theatre magazine Playbill.

He is survived by his wife Jessica Gomes and their two young children, daughter Aria Li and son Caio Lian, according to Playbill.

The musical theatre department of Peluso’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, said its members were mourning the news.

“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,” Linda Goodrich, interim chair of the school’s musical-theatre department, said in a statement on Instagram.

Peluso appeared on Broadway in “Assassins,” “Lestat,” “The Glorious Ones” and “Beautiful.” He played Fiyero in “Wicked” on tour and Sky in “Mamma Mia!”

His stage credits in London, where he had relocated, include “Miss Saigon,” “Show Boat” and “The Woman in White.”

Chris Peluso at a New York event in 2012.
Chris Peluso at a New York event in 2012.

Walter McBride via Getty Images

Peluso stepped away from his theatre work last year to seek treatment for schizoaffective disorder, Playbill reported.

A GoFundMe started on his behalf by two friends in September requested donations to support him as he sought inpatient treatment at a mental health rehabilitation center.

“This diagnosis has resulted in Chris experiencing debilitating paranoia, which has kept him from performing in recent years,” the fundraising appeal said.

A statement attributed to Peluso and posted to the fundraiser in November said he was “stable and doing well” and had started to work again.

“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,” the statement said. “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.”

Peluso was also pursuing a master’s degree in therapeutic counseling, according to his bio on the Artists & Beyond and Broadway Plus website.

“This provides him a meaningful side job while helping him further his emotional understanding of the world and relationships that fuel all good theatre,” the bio says. “This also puts Chris in a unique position to help students navigate the anxieties inherent in a career in the Arts.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at dontcallthepolice.com.

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