Chicago comedian Erica Watson dies at 48 due to COVID-19

Watson was best known for her roles in films like 'Precious' and 'Chi-Raq'

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Chicago comedian Erica Watson has died due to complications of COVID-19.

The actress and comedian passed away on Saturday evening. Her brother, Eric Williams, posted the shocking news to his Facebook account requesting prayers and privacy, per the Chicago Tribune.

“Friends and family, my sister Erica Watson passed away last night in Jamaica due to complications from Covid 19. We are not taking this easy. Please respect our privacy right now(no phone calls please) as we make arrangements to bring my sister home. Keep us in your prayers,” wrote Williams.

Erica Watson Image: Facebook

Watson, 48, was best known for her roles in films like Precious, and Chi-Raq. She also played Miss Tiny on the first season of the Showtime series The Chi. Originally from Hyde Park, Watson moved to Montego Bay, Jamaica during the pandemic which is where she resided during the time of her passing.

“I am heartbroken. COVID continues to exact a heavy toll. Can’t even fathom saying Erica Watson’s name in past tense. Such a warm, loving and fun spirit. And a woman who always put the community first. She’s brought smiles around the country for a long time. Rest well Queen,” wrote journalist Brandon Pope to Twitter.

Watson was also a frequent contributor to Windy City Live with hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini. Warner said when Watson was slated to be on the show she knew it was going to be a good episode and recalled their chemistry similar to “Pippen and Jordan.” 

The actress was known as miss_poundcakes on Instagram where she was an advocate for body positivity.  As a full-figured woman, she was known for speaking about the joys of intimacy on the social media platform and hosted a YouTube series titled, Night Cap with Erica, during which she would speak with various guests and discuss her experiences living in Jamaica.

“Erica was many things,” said April Williams of the Chicago office of Gill Talent Group, which represented her. “She was a brilliant comic, a really strong, grounded actress, and she was near and dear to our hearts.”

A service celebrating her life will happen in Chicago at a date yet to be announced.

As recently reported by theGrio, another rising star, Antoine Hodge, has passed away from COVID-19.

According to an obituary in Opera Wire, Hodge had been battling COVID for two months prior to his death.

The New York Times reports that Hodge died in Orlando, Florida at the AdventHealth Orlando Hospital after being taken there for advanced treatment. He was 38.

Hodge, a bass-baritone, had made his debut with New York’s Metropolitan Opera for its 2019-2020 production of the celebrated George Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess. In the show, he earned a coveted solo and posted his happiness to have earned a place in such an esteemed opera on a Facebook post during opening night.

“It never mattered to me whether I was a principal artist or an ensemble member,” Hodge wrote,“ as long as I got to do it.”

Additional reporting by Matthew Allen

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