Mark Blum, an actor who played character roles in dozens of popular television series and film projects over the years, died of complications with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at the age of 69.
Blum’s first television appearance was a guest role on St. Elsewhere, a medical drama in 1980. Over his career, the actor also showed up in TV classics like The West Wing, Frasier, Roseanne, NYPD Blue, and The Practice. In recent years, Blum even appeared on fan favorites like Succession and The Good Fight.
In 2018, Blum appeared on the hit series You, memorably playing Mr. Mooney, the bookstore owner and Joe Goldberg’s (Penn Badgley) creepy father figure.
Blum’s last-ever role will be a posthumous appearance on the upcoming fifth season of Showtime’s Billions.
Madonna, who starred alongside Blum in the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan, shared photos of the two of them in the movie along with a message in the actor's memory.
“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,” she wrote in an Instagram caption.
“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 won't affect us in some way.”
Madonna also urged people to “follow the quarantine rules” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In addition to the pop star, others also remembered Blum and his legacy online in the wake of his death. Journalist Mark Harris tweeted, “Mark Blum was a wonderful, stalwart actor--a familiar face to anyone who watches TV, and a mainstay, for decades, of dozens of New York stage productions. May he rest in peace.”
The off-Broadway theater Playwrights Horizons sent out a tweet honoring the actor Thursday, writing, “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,” the tweet continued, “for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you.”
Members of Hollywood are continuing to be affected by the spread of the coronavirus. Today, SVU star Mariska Hargitay also shared that one of the show’s costumers, 45-year-old Josh Wallwork, died of COVID-19 complications.
“I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face. He brought love and kindness everywhere he went. Always ready with the joke,” Hargitay tweeted. “The SVU Corredor will never be the same.”