Mark Blum, Former Fordham Professor, Dies From Coronavirus

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COURTESY OF T. CHARLES ERICKSON VIA FLICKR

Mark Blum acts alongside Kate Burton in a 2007 production of “The Cherry Orchard” with Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, one of many shows in Blum’s storied career.

By GILLIAN RUSSO, Arts & Culture Editor

Mark Blum, a stage actor and former Fordham Theatre professor, died March 26 at 69 years old due to complications from the coronavirus.

“With love, Fordham Theatre mourns the loss of Mark Blum, our longtime friend and colleague,” reads a post on Fordham Theatre’s Twitter account. “Mark, we are forever grateful for all you contributed to the lives of our students and our program. Thank you for being part of the Fordham Theatre family.”

Blum was a guest professor in the program’s Acting IV class in the spring 2010 semester. Students from that class recalled positive memories of working with him, including RJ Vaillancourt, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’12.

“I remember him being warm, thoughtful, and sincerely invested in the work we were doing,” Vaillancourt said. “I reached out to Mark a few years after graduating to ask him about business-specific advice, and not only did he reply immediately, but answered with the same care and thoughtfulness I’d remembered experiencing in class with him.”

“I reflect fondly on our time together and would always enjoy seeing him in various stage productions or television shows,” said Nicole Ventura, FCLC ’12 and another of Blum’s students that semester. “He was a very sweet and approachable professor and person.”

Blum’s more than 40-year acting career included nine Broadway shows between 1977 and 2013, the most recent being Richard Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties” in 2013. Others include “The Graduate,” “Twelve Angry Men” and two appearances in “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.”

He also performed in off-Broadway productions, most notably as Al in Playwrights Horizons’ “Gus and Al” in 1989, for which he won an Obie Award. Onscreen, Blum appeared in multiple films in the 1980s and in episodes of TV shows including “Succession” and several “Law and Order” iterations. Blum had a recurring role as Ivan Mooney on the Lifetime/Netflix series “You” in 2018.

Vaillancourt said, “He was a rare combination: a genuinely good person and a mega acting talent.”