Mark Blum, star of ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, dies from coronavirus

Madonna, Mark Hamill, Rosanna Arquette and more have paid tribute

Mark Blum, the broadway actor and star of the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, has died due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 69.

News of his death was shared by Off Broadway theatre company Playwrights Horizons and later confirmed by actor’s union SAG-AFTRA.

“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 theatre, and to theatres and audiences across the world. We will miss you,” Playwrights Horizons wrote in a tweet.

Blum made his Broadway debut in Arnold Wesker’s The Merchant in 1978. Some of his other stage credits include Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (2012) and Neil Simon’s Lost In Yonkers (1991). His most recent and final Broadway appearance was in Richard Greenberg’s The Assembled Parties (2013).

He was also a film actor. In addition to Desperately Seeking Susan, in which he co-starred with Madonna and Rosanna Arquette, Blum also appeared in Crocodile Dundee and Shattered Glass.

His television roles included Capital News, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, Law & Order, Mozart in the Jungle and, more recently, Succession, Elementary, The Good Fight, You and Billions.

In 1989, Blum won an Obie Award for his performance in Gus and Al.

Many have taken to social media to pay tribute to Blum, including Madonna, who wrote 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!”

Rosanna Arquette tweeted: “Sharon Waxman informed me of this very very hard news today I’m so deeply sad for his family and for his fans. he was a wonderful actor and a very good and kind man. May you Rest In Peace and power mark. God bless you.”

Spider-Man 3 and That ’70s Show star Topher Grace said of Blum: “8 years ago Mark Blum played my deadbeat dad in the play Lonely, I’m Not, but he was the complete opposite in real life – generous, patient, funny. I was terrified to do live theater for the first time and he was as much a great teacher (mostly by example)…”

James Van Der Beek wrote: “I did a play with Mark Blum in ‘97 literally the day after wrapping the #DawsonsCreek pilot. He was SO good… and generous and kind and I learned so much from him about how to be a professional – lessons that got me through the insanity that was to come. Prayers for his family.”

Remembering a particular moment with Blum, Van Der Beek continued: “In particular, I remember an actress being SUPER late for a performance. She’d overslept. She came in hungover & frazzled and I thought Mark Blum – a total pro – might be upset. He wasn’t. Instead, he made sure to put her at ease & let her know we were glad she was there & safe.

“Instead of chiding her, or lecturing her, he went out of his way to give her every shot at forgiving herself and giving her best performance. I never forgot that. RIP Mark Blum. Thanks for being such a good influence.”

Blum’s niece tweeted her gratitude for the tributes being paid to her uncle. Star Wars actor Mark Hamill replied: “We will never stop missing him.”

See other tributes paid to Blum below: