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Broadway Actor Chris Peluso Dies at 40

Broadway star Chris Peluso, known for his roles in musicals like "Mamma Mia!" and "Lestat," has died at 40 after battling schizoaffective disorder.

Broadway star Chris Peluso, known for his incredible performances in musicals like "Mamma Mia!" and "Lestat," tragically passed away at the age of 40. The news of his death was confirmed by Playbill on August 15, one year after he took a hiatus from his theater career to seek treatment for schizoaffective disorder, a mental health condition that he bravely battled.

Peluso's alma mater, the University of Michigan, paid tribute to him on their musical theater department's Instagram, expressing their deep sorrow and offering condolences to his grieving family.

Peluso first made a name for himself on Broadway as an understudy in the 2004 Tony-winning revival of "Assassins" and as a stand-in for various roles in "Lestat." He then joined the ensemble for the touring company of "Wicked" in 2005, where he took on the pivotal role of Fiyero during a national tour in 2009. Throughout his career, he also showcased his immense talent in other beloved musicals such as "Mamma Mia!," "Les Miserables," and "West Side Story."

His talent extended beyond Broadway, as he also captivated audiences in London's West End. He participated in several notable productions, including a revival of "Show Boat" in 2016 and "The Woman in White" in 2017. In 2014, he had the privilege of being a part of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," where he portrayed the lead roles of Gerry Goffin, Don Kirshner, and Barry Mann.

Chris Peluso leaves behind his wife, Jessica Gomes, whom he married in 2018, as well as two children. His struggle with schizoaffective disorder was documented through a GoFundMe campaign that was initiated in September. The campaign aimed to raise funds for his treatment, as he did not have health insurance and required care at an inpatient mental health rehab center in Tennessee.

The outpouring of support from friends, family, and fans was overwhelming, and the campaign successfully raised over $25,000. Peluso expressed his deep gratitude for the financial assistance, highlighting the positive impact of medication and therapy on his stability and overall well-being. With the help of these resources, he was able to resume work, attend auditions, and effectively manage his symptoms. He emphasized the invaluable support he received from his loved ones and well-wishers, acknowledging their crucial role in his journey towards recovery.

Throughout his career, Chris Peluso brought joy and inspiration to countless individuals with his extraordinary talent. His notable roles in the theater, including "Mamma Mia!," "Lestat," "Wicked," "Les Miserables," and "West Side Story," will forever be remembered as a testament to his immense skill and dedication.

Unfortunately, Peluso's battle with mental health had a significant impact on his career. The challenges posed by schizoaffective disorder forced him to take a step back from his theater work. However, despite facing debilitating paranoia, he sought treatment and persevered through therapy and medication. His commitment to his mental health allowed him to make progress and regain stability, enabling him to continue pursuing his passion for performing.

Chris Peluso's untimely passing is a heartbreaking loss for the theater community and all those who had the privilege of witnessing his incredible talent. His legacy will live on through his unforgettable performances and the impact he made on the lives of others. May he rest in peace.

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