Longtime Broadway actor Mark Blum died this week after contracting COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Blum was a mainstay on the Broadway stage since the 1970s and also appeared in several movies, including Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan. After news of his death spread, his colleagues paid tribute to the 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," Playwrights Horizons announced on Instagram Thursday. "Thank you, Mark, for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you. See here photos of some of the shows Mark appeared in, including Rancho Viejo, After the Revolution, Little Footsteps, and Gus and Al."
SAG-AFTRA also confirmed the sad news. He served as a Screen Actors Guild New York Board Member from 2007 to 2013 and served a three-year term on the National Board.
Blum's movie credits included Desperately Seeking Susan, Crocodile Dundee, Miami Rhapsody, Shattered Glass, Step Up 3D and Coin Heist. He had a main role on Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle and starred as Mr. Mooney in four episodes of Netflix's You. He appeared in two episodes of HBO's Succession and an episode of Showtime's Billions.
Scroll on to see how Blum's colleagues are remembering him.
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"I Want to Acknowledge the Passing of a remarkable Human, fellow actor and friend Mark Blum, who succumbed to Coronavirus," Madonna, who starred in Desperately Seeking Susan, wrote on Instagram. "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!"
James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek recalled working with Blum in a play after finishing the Dawson's Creek pilot. The actor shared some of the lessons he learned from Blum, which came in handy throughout his career.
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. https://t.co/7r7dLyvOeK— James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) March 26, 2020
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.— James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) March 26, 2020
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.— James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) March 26, 2020
Rosanna Arquette, who also starred in Desperately Seeking Susan, was informed of Blum's passing by author and journalist, Sharon Waxman of the Washington Post and took to Twitter to express her condolences.
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. https://t.co/r0QUGEYwVK— Rosanna Arquette🌎✌🏼 (@RoArquette) March 26, 2020
Malcolm McDowell acted with Blum on Mozart in the Jungle. The Amazon Prime series ran four seasons from 2014 to 2018.
One of our family of Mozart in the Jungle passed this morning from the corona virus. Mark Blum was a truly wonderful actor, but more importantly, was a funny sensitive, and beautiful man. RIP. - Malcolm pic.twitter.com/fapOBe6WYp— Malcolm McDowell (@McDowellMalc) March 26, 2020
That '70s Show star Topher Grace worked with Blum on stage. He shared a photo from the production on Twitter, and thanked Blum for sharing acting lessons during Grace's stage debut.
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)... pic.twitter.com/ZJYmmHkkYC— Topher Grace (@TopherGrace) March 26, 2020
My thoughts are with his incredible wife Janet.— Topher Grace (@TopherGrace) March 26, 2020
Blum's niece shared an adorable family picture on her Twitter page. Star Wars actor Mark Hamill was quick to share his condolences.
We will never stop missing him.— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) March 26, 2020
Thanks to everyone who has posted such kind comments and memories of my uncle. I just read a few to my mom over the phone and she was so touched. Our entire family appreciates the outpouring of love. #markblum— Awkward-ish (@awkward_ish) March 27, 2020
"This is a painful loss to our SAG-AFTRA family," SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. "Mark Blum understood that all performers working in this industry share the same employers and that our strength depends on our unity. He was a visionary. Mark will be deeply missed, and our hearts go out to his wife, Janet Zarish, his friends and all of his loved ones."
It is clear, we will all lose people we know and love. Sweet dreams friend... https://t.co/OWo24SJJHU— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) March 26, 2020
"Mark Blum was a passionate champion for merger and a tireless advocate for members," SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President and New York Local President Rebecca Damon added. "Those of us lucky enough to have known him will treasure our memories of a gifted actor, a master teacher, a loyal friend and a beautiful human. I always appreciated Mark's clear perception of complex situations. Mark was smart, funny and a true actor's actor."
Photo credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images