Mark Blum, Star of ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ and ‘You,’ Dies at 69 Due to Coronavirus Complications

Veteran character actor was a fixture in the New York theater community

Last Updated: March 26, 2020 @ 4:27 PM

Mark Blum, a veteran character actor who starred in the films “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee,” as well as the recent TV series “You,” has died due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 69.

The New York theater company Playwrights Horizons first announced the news, and SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Rebecca Damon confirmed that Blum passed away due to COVID-19. Representatives for Blum additionally confirmed the news to TheWrap.

As news of his death became public, his peers and friends in the entertainment industry, including his “Desperately Seeking Susan” costars Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, paid him tribute. Read more here.

Blum was also a fixture of the New York theater community, having won an Obie Award for his performance in the Playwrights Horizons production of a play from Albert Innaurato, “Gus and Al.” He’s also appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers,” Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” and more.

“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, for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you,” the theater company Playwrights Horizons said in a tweet.

“He was one of the most respected actors in New York: a beacon of fierce intelligence, dry wit & deep kindness on stage and off. A tragic loss,” playwright Jack Canfora added in a tweet.

The New Jersey-born actor Blum got his start on the stage in the 1970s before pivoting to film and television, starting with a role in the 1983 film “Lovesick” followed by a turn on “St. Elsewhere” in 1984.

In 1984, Blum played Rosanna Arquette’s husband in the 1985 comedy “Desperately Seeking Susan” alongside Arquette and Madonna. He also had a role in “Crocodile Dundee” as the newspaper editor to the film’s female lead played by Linda Kozlowski. Some of his other film credits include “Shattered Glass,” “Step Up 3D” and most recently “Coin Heist.”

“I’m sad about this. He was really very kind, was always supportive and funny, a gentle man and a great actor who loved the work,” Arquette told TheWrap. “I’m so sad for his family and all the people who love him. This is a tragedy on so many levels. Rest in peace and power, Mark Blum.”

In an Instagram post, Madonna called his death “really tragic.” She described Blum as “funny, warm, loving and professional” on set.

Blum had a substantive role as Union Bob on the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle,” and he recently starred in the first season of the Lifetime/Netflix drama “You” as Mr. Mooney, the bookstore owner who served a surrogate father figure to Penn Badgley’s sociopathic lead character, Joe.

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