Broadway And West End Star Chris Peluso Dies, Aged 40

The stage actor was known for his roles in Mamma Mia! and Wicked.
Chris Peluso, who featured in stage productions on Broadway and in London's West End, has died aged 40.
Chris Peluso, who featured in stage productions on Broadway and in London's West End, has died aged 40.
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Chris Peluso, a stage performer known for his roles in Mamma Mia! and Wicked, died on Tuesday at age 40.

Peluso’s family confirmed his death to theatre magazine Playbill.

He is survived by his wife Jessica Gomes and their two young children, daughter Aria Li and son Caio Lian, according to Playbill.

The musical theatre department of Peluso’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, said its members were mourning the news.

“The Michigan Musical Theatre family is heartbroken as we announce the passing of our dear family member/alum, the loving, charismatic, and divinely gifted Chris Peluso,” Linda Goodrich, interim chair of the school’s musical-theatre department, said in a statement on Instagram.

Peluso appeared on Broadway in Assassins, Lestat, The Glorious Ones and Beautiful. He played Fiyero in Wicked on tour and Sky in Mamma Mia!.

His stage credits in London, where he had relocated, include Miss Saigon, Show Boat and The Woman in White.

Chris Peluso at a New York event in 2012.
Chris Peluso at a New York event in 2012.
Walter McBride via Getty Images

Peluso stepped away from his theatre work last year to seek treatment for schizoaffective disorder, Playbill reported.

A GoFundMe started on his behalf by two friends in September requested donations to support him as he sought inpatient treatment at a mental health rehabilitation center.

“This diagnosis has resulted in Chris experiencing debilitating paranoia, which has kept him from performing in recent years,” the fundraising appeal said.

A statement attributed to Peluso and posted to the fundraiser in November said he was “stable and doing well” and had started to work again.

“It’s going to be a life long process of going to therapy and working with doctors but I’m so much better than I was before treatment,” the statement said. “It really means the world to me to have such incredible support from you all. None of this progress would have been possible without you.”

Peluso was also pursuing a master’s degree in therapeutic counseling, according to his bio on the Artists & Beyond and Broadway Plus website.

“This provides him a meaningful side job while helping him further his emotional understanding of the world and relationships that fuel all good theatre,” the bio says. “This also puts Chris in a unique position to help students navigate the anxieties inherent in a career in the Arts.”

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on

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