British actor and dialect coach Andrew Jack died this week after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
He was 76 years old.
“He was in no pain”
Jack’s agent, Jill McCullough, said in a statement to the AP that the actor should be remembered as “fiercely independent but madly in love with his wife.” Jack’s widow, Gabrielle Rogers, released a statement of her own on Twitter saying that the actor was “in no pain” when he died and “slipped away peacefully.”
We lost a man today. Andrew Jack was diagnosed with Coronavirus 2 days ago. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all ‘with’ him.
— Gabrielle Rogers (@GabrielleRoger1) March 31, 2020
Rogers currently remains quarantined in Australia, according to the AP.
According to NBC News, Jack was best known for portraying the character of General Ematt in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. He went on to reprise the role in Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
He also worked as a dialect coach, serving clients like Hollywood stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth, according to the AP.
“A matter of life and death”
Tragically, Jack isn’t the only high-profile entertainer who has fallen victim to the deadly coronavirus. On Sunday, 61-year-old country music singer and songwriter Joe Diffie passed away from complications caused by the disease, according to NPR.
Rock musician Alan Merrill also died this week from the virus, Billboard reported. Merrill co-wrote the hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” in 1975, a song that was later covered by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
But the losses haven’t been limited to actors and singers. CBS News executive and long-time journalist Maria Mercader died Sunday from the disease at the age of 54, an Instagram post from the network said. “It’s nearly impossible to be someone EVERYONE loves, but Maria was,” Laurie Orlando, who worked with Mercader at CBS, said of her passing, according to the New York Post.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump stated during a press briefing that “a very painful two weeks” is on the way, and doctors on his coronavirus task force said the final death toll in the U.S. from the disease could be in the hundreds of thousands, Fox News reported.
“The surge is coming, and it’s coming pretty strong,” the president warned, according to Fox. “It is absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines… It’s a matter of life and death.”