Jo Andres, Wife of Actor Steve Buscemi, Cause of Death Revealed

Visual artist and choreographer Jo Andres died earlier this month from encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis, her husband, actor Steve Buscemi, told The New York Times on Wednesday.

Andres died at the age of 64 on Jan. 6 at her Brooklyn home, with Buscemi telling the publication that Andres was also treated for ovarian cancer.

Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis is a rare complication from long-term peritoneal dialysis, associated with "extensive thickening and fibrosis of the peritoneum resulting in the formation of a fibrous cocoon encapsulating the bowel leading to intestinal obstruction," according to the National Institutes of Health.

Andres, who was born in Wichita, Kansas and moved to New York from Ohio in the early 1980s, was known for creating choreography that put audiences right in the middle of the action. She brought slides and film into her work, with dancers moving in front of them to music. She was a graduate of Ohio University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in dance and a mater's in film.

In the early 1990s, Andres began drifting away from choreography to direct short films. Her 1996 film, Black Kites was set during the Bosnian War, but was filmed in her Brooklyn home and featured Buscemi and their son Lucian in roles.

Andres also created cyanotypes with a 19th Century photographic process that created unsettling blue images. She also directed a film of jazz singer Diana Krall performing "When The Curtain Comes Down," which Krall played before her 2012 and 2013 tours. Buscemi co-starred in the video.

"We had such an intuitive relationship with each other," Krall said of Andres in an interview with the Times. "I said, 'Do the film, as you'd like,' and when I saw it, I said, 'This is exactly what I want.' She understood Magritte, silent movies and Stan Laurel — there are elements of all of them in it. And her choreography of Steve, and his body language, are amazing. She captured all this in a piece that had empathy, humor and darkness."

Andres is survived by Buscemi and their son, her three brothers and a sister.

Buscemi, 61, married Andres in 1987. According to a CBS Sunday Morning profile, the couple met while Buscemi was still a firefighter.

"She wasn't impressed that I was a fireman," Buscemi told the show. "That was not the impressive. I was trying to impress her with the boots and the coat — and she didn't care!"


Photo credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images