View this post on Instagram
The actor Marcus D’Amico has died at the age of 55. D’Amico is best remembered for playing the role of the beloved gay character, Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver, from the 1993 TV production of Tales of the City.
He also originated the role of Louis in the National Theatre’s London run of the stage play, Angels in America, in 1992, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor.
News of D’Amico’s death was posted online by his sister, Melissa D’Amico, on December 23rd to her Twitter account and the Instagram account of the youth acting agency she runs, APA Talent.
“Not only have I lost my beautiful brother but the world has lost an incredibly talented actor and director. Words cannot express how much I miss him.”
Related: The trailer for Netflix’s ‘Tales of the City’ reboot is officially here
In an email to Queerty, Melissa D’Amico confirmed that her brother died of pneumonia in Oxfordshire, England, on December 16, 2020. He is survived by his mother, two sisters, a half-brother, and a son and daughter.
“Marcus was warm and funny with a big heart,” she said. “He was talented and creative, a good singer and dancer as well as actor, writer, and director. He lived in London and LA and has many friends in both countries.”
Marcus D’Amico was born in Germany to an American father and a British mother and was brought up in the UK. He began performing when young, in 1977, appearing in the title role of Oliver! on the West End stage when a child.
When Tales Of The City first hit screens in 1993, on Channel 4 in the UK and PBS in the US, it was groundbreaking for its positive portrayal of LGBTQ characters.
The action was set around the residents of a San Francisco boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane. D’Amico, who was gay in real life, picked up a legion of fans for his portrayal of the fun-loving and sweet Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver. Many lamented the fact he did not return for the follow-up series in 1998, or the 2019 Netflix reboot.
Related: Armistead Maupin acknowledges one major “mistake” in “Tales of the City”
D’Amico’s film credits included Superman II and Full Metal Jacket, alongside a recurring role in the UK soap opera Family Affairs in the early 00s. Much of his career was subsequently based in the theatre, including a stint in the London production of Mamma Mia, among many other roles. In recent years, he also taught acting to young performers in Oxfordshire.
View this post on Instagram
Loved him in Tales of the City. RIP.
That’s awful. RIP. He’ll always be Michael Mouse Tolliver to me.
This news is so sad. I loved his character in Tales of the City and I’m a little shocked that people are still dying of pneumonia in 2020. RIP—you made a huge difference in the lives of gay kids during a time when there weren’t many positive portrayals of gay people.
I second that.
Many people young and older still die from it. Other underlying health issues can make it worse to beat it (i.e. HIV, diabetes, heart disease, etc.). It’s still awful.
It is also well known that COVID-19 can cause pneumonia.
Marcus wasn’t the original. He was the ONLY Mouse!
Love that scene in Tales of the City where he joined the underwear contest at Endup to win $100 for his rent.
Ahhhhh…dammit. 2020 just had to take another beloved icon of mine. Marcus, you are and always will be Michael Tolliver to me. In the scene where Mouse reads the letter to his parents, coming out and standing up proudly for who he was, I wept. Godspeed Marcus.
Oh man, I just can’t with more sad news, this is awful to hear 🙁 RIP Marcus “Mouse”…
I saw him on the stage, west end of London in “Angels”. He was brilliant and of course in the original “Tales of the City”. Brilliant actor! RIP Michael Tolliver.
Quite surprised to read that he was gay in real life , given that he reportedly told Maupin he was turning down the opportunity to play “Mouse” in the TOTC sequels because it would pigeon-hole him as a “gay actor”.
Really? Honestly, I always thought he was straight. At least when I last read about him. I do remember reading some years ago about why he didn’t want to play Mouse in the subsequent movies that followed. Interesting.
Nobody was more terrified of being labeled gay that a closeted actor in the entertainment industry back then I would imagine.
I was told his behaviour while filming the first séries had been disruptive and that he wasn’t actually asked to return as a result. But he was a beautiful man, and I found him rather shy and I thought closeted. But no matter it’s tragic to lose him at such a young age.
His performances were brilliant and memorable. Scenes with a young and unknown Laura Linney were powerful and she goes on to be a great talent and star. The series had few prominent actors; Olivia Dukakis as a trans landlady was simply marvelous. When I lived in San Fran on Sutter Street, there was an old hotel across from me that catered to longterm stays. And I learned Dukakis always stayed there during filming for “Tales.” She loved the friendliness and variety of her fellow guests. She turns 90 in June. But I submit that the real star was San Francisco and now that we have learned more about the author of the column that became the series–his affair with a young Rock Hudson eons ago, we know that the city could act like welcoming parents to prodigal children. And the places, sights, and sounds remain distinct.
He was perfect as Mouse. I can’t think of anyone better for that role. And you are right — that whole series had a special something about it that worked. It was truly an ensemble show, and the sets, dialog, costumes and story line were just unbelievable. When Mary asks Mouse if he wants a Tab, I almost fell off my chair — one sentence encapsulated a whole era.
This is so sad. 1993’s “Tales of the City” was by far the best adaptation of the book, and he made a great Michael Tolliver. I came to San Francisco at 19 and his part in the series echoed almost everything I’d done. 55 is so young to die.
Very sad indeed!
Good actual gay role model (back when) positive role models were needed in the gay community. Too bad his medical condition couldn’t be effectively treated.
Comments are closed.