Bert Belasco, a rising star in the entertainment industry, passed away unexpectedly in November 2020. The actor, best known for his role in the BET series Let’s Stay Together, was found dead in a hotel room in Virginia, where he was quarantining for an upcoming movie role. His death shocked and saddened his fans, friends, and family, who were left wondering what caused his sudden demise. Now, the medical examiner has revealed the official cause of death for the 38-year-old actor.
Hypertensive and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease
According to Fox News, the coroner confirmed that Belasco died of “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease”, which means that he had high blood pressure and plaque buildup in his arteries. His manner of death was listed as natural. This condition can lead to serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke, or aortic aneurysm, which is a bulge or rupture in the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Belasco’s father, Bert Sr., told TMZ that he believed his son died of an aortic aneurysm, which is a type of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. He said that the coroner informed the family that his death was the result of an aortic aneurysm. However, the death certificate obtained by TMZ did not specify the exact location or size of the aneurysm.
A Promising Career Cut Short
Belasco had a promising career in Hollywood, with roles in various TV shows and movies. He starred as Charles Whitmore, a successful dentist and husband, in the BET sitcom Let’s Stay Together, which ran from 2011 to 2014. He also appeared in dramas such as Pitch and I’m Dying Up Here, and made guest appearances on shows such as Justified, NCIS: New Orleans, Key & Peele, and House.
He was in the middle of a two-week quarantine for a new movie role when he died. His father said that he had to get a COVID-19 test before he could fly to Vancouver for the film. He was staying at a hotel in Richmond, Virginia, where he was supposed to get another test before leaving. However, he never made it to his destination.
His father said that he tried to contact his son, but he did not answer his phone. He then asked the hotel staff to check on him, and they found him dead in his room. He said that his son had no known health issues and was in good shape.
Tributes from Friends and Colleagues
Belasco’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes from his friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry. Many of them expressed their shock and grief over his untimely passing, and praised his talent and kindness.
“I am gutted by this news. Bert was my friend! We had JUST talked last week. He was happy and excited about his new project and all the good that was to come. No day is promised. NO DAY,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted.
“Heartbroken at the passing of Bert Belasco – a talented, kind young man who I had the pleasuring of working with numerous times on #LetsStayTogether. Squeeze your loved ones tight! Tomorrow is never promised,” actress Jackée Harry tweeted.
“Rest well, my friend. You were one of the good ones. Always smiling, always laughing, always happy. You will be missed,” actor RonReaco Lee, who played Belasco’s brother-in-law on Let’s Stay Together, wrote on Instagram.
Belasco’s alma mater, Southern Illinois University, also honored him by launching a scholarship fund and a theater award in his name, as well as renaming the rehearsal/dance studio as The Bert Belasco Studio, according to TMZ.
Belasco is survived by his parents, Bert Sr. and Sandra, and his sister, Kristen. His family and fans will always remember him as a bright and talented star who left a lasting impression on everyone he met.