'Superstore' Star Nico Santos Reveals Stepfather Died From Coronavirus Complications: 'I Can't Hug My Mother as She Mourns Her Husband'

Actor Nico Santos, who stars on NBC's Superstore and had a supporting role in the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, shared a heartbreaking post on Instagram Sunday after his stepfather Sonny died from complications of the coronavirus. The 40-year-old actor wrote that he cannot even comfort his mother, Tita, because she was also diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The number of deaths in the U.S. eclipsed 2,400 on Sunday.

"My Tito Sonny passed away yesterday after losing his battle with COVID-19," Santos wrote next to a picture of his stepfather and mother. "He was a kind, caring man. Friendly to a fault. He always greeted strangers walking past him with a chipper 'Good Morning!' and a big smile. He had a great laugh that filled the room with joy."

"My mom is also fighting COVID-19," Santos continued. "For the time being, she has not required hospitalization. The loss of my stepfather is devastating but what has gutted me is that this pandemic has kept my family apart. We were unable to be with him during his last days. I can't hold my mother as she mourns her husband. I can't hug my brother as he contemplates a world without his father. I can't wipe away the tears from my nephews' eyes as they wonder why their Lolo Sonny isn't here anymore."

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Santos went on to thank his friends and fans for their support during this difficult time, and asked for prayers for his mother.

"I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy," he concluded. "Rest In Peace Tito Sonny. I love you."

Santos did not say when his mother and stepfather were diagnosed, but on March 22, he made an impassioned plea on Twitter for prayers. "If you have prayers, positive thoughts and energy to spare please send them our way," he wrote at the time. "My family could use it. Stay safe everyone. And STAY HOME."

Santos' fans and fellow actors offered their condolences on his Instagram post.

"I am so unbelievably sorry Nico," Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang wrote. "Wishing you and your family peace. Hoping for a speedy recovering for your mother."

"So sorry for your loss, Nico... sending all my love, prayers, and positive thoughts to you and your family," comedian Sherry Cola wrote.

"Nico, I’m sending you all of my love. I'm so sorry," actress Jen Tullock added. "I'm lifting you up."

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Santos is best known for playing Mateo Fernando Aquino Liwang on NBC's Superstore, and was a frequent guest on Chelsea Lately. He played Oliver T'sien in Crazy Rich Asians.

Photo credit: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC