The Untold Truth Of Amanda Kloots

It's not hyperbole to describe Amanda Kloots' rise to fame as being tinged with tragedy. An actor, dancer, and Broadway performer, Kloots pivoted to become a top fitness instructor and trainer thanks to an innovative workout technique she devised. Her life changed forever when the COVID-19 pandemic slammed America in March 2020; Kloots' husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, became infected with the virus and entered a hospital for treatment. Kloots began documenting her husband's battle with the disease via social media, sharing the heartrending details with an ever-growing cadre of Instagram followers and forming the basis of multiple media reports.

After numerous health setbacks over the course of several months, that July, Kloots shared some heartbreaking news. "God has another angel in heaven now," she wrote in an emotional Instagram post. "My darling husband passed away this morning," she continued, leaving her without her spouse of three years and their infant son Elvis without a father.

Opening up on social media about the pain she was going through, Kloots shared not just her heartbreak but her hope for the future. Not only did this prove to be cathartic to her personally, but also attracted the attention of Hollywood, leading to some exciting opportunities and new platforms from which to spread her message of optimism in the face of despair. To find out more about this multitalented celebrity, keep on reading to uncover the untold truth of Amanda Kloots. 

Amanda Kloots has danced with the Radio City Rockettes

Dance has been a huge part of Amanda Kloots' life since childhood. "I took dance class since I was 10 years old so I was always active," Kloots told Kalumi, recalling the after-school ballet lessons that lasted until 9 p.m. most nights. Kloots' talent as a dancer ultimately led her to New York City, where she landed a coveted spot with the high-kicking Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. "Becoming a Radio City Rockette was a dream come true!" Kloots wrote on her blog, via the Rockettes website. "You have to strive for perfection every day, every show, every dance!"

As she explained in an interview with Michael Rosenbaum's "Inside of You" podcast, she wasn't hired immediately but had previously auditioned twice for the Rockettes' touring company, getting cut both times. Yet she persisted, and her third audition resulted in a spot with the Rockettes. "It was like a thousand girls there, they needed 12," she said. "And after two days I ended up getting the job."

Becoming a Rockette after two failed auditions taught Kloots an important lesson in tenacity that has served her well while navigating the uncertainty of show business. "The years I spent being as a dancer and actor in New York City gave me the thickest skin," she told Forbes. "When you don't get a job, you learn how to overcome hard times, sadness, competition and how important it is to fail in order to succeed."

Amanda Kloots has appeared on Broadway

In addition to high-kicking on the stage of Manhattan's iconic Radio City Music Hall, Amanda Kloots has also brought her talents to several Broadway productions. According to Playbill, Kloots has appeared in four Broadway shows: the Beach Boys-inspired musical "Good Vibrations," Mel Brooks' adaptation of his classic comedy "Young Frankenstein," a 2011 production of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," and the 2014 musical "Bullets Over Broadway," based on Woody Allen's musical of the same name. In addition, noted Broadway World, Kloots has also appeared in an off-Broadway production of "Crazy for You," and was a cast member in the national touring company of Monty Python's "Spamalot." 

Of all those productions, "Bullets Over Broadway" remains closest to Kloots' heart. That's not surprising, noted People, since that was where she first met the play's star and her future husband, Nick Cordero. As they worked together on stage, sparks flew. "I met Nick doing the Broadway show, 'Bullets Over Broadway,'" she wrote in an Instagram post. "We were friends first and then fell in love."

Kloots received a huge Broadway tribute in the fall of 2021 when she and her late husband were jointly honored during the curtain call for the musical "Waitress," in which Cordero had been starring before being stricken ill with COVID-19. Making the moment even more significant, that curtain call came at the end of the first Broadway performance after more than a year of pandemic shutdown.

She invented her own fitness technique using jump ropes

When a Broadway show she was appearing in unexpectedly closed, Amanda Kloots was hit with a big reality check. Collecting unemployment and supplementing her income by teaching fitness classes, she realized she needed to make a change. "It just hit me — if I keep performing, my life is always going to be in the other hands of somebody else telling me your show is open, your show is closed, you're hired for this job, or you're not hired for this job," she told Haute Living

That was when she decided to start her own business, based on an idea she'd been kicking around for an exercise routine that used a jump rope. As Kloots explained in a video promoting her technique — called The Rope — her "unique workout" can be done anywhere, since "the jump rope is your one and only prop for cardio and toning."

During the pandemic shutdown in the spring of 2020, she began hosting Rope classes on social media. What was initially intended as a way to stay connected with her fitness community soon evolved into a business venture, her AK! subscription service of video workouts. "I had an idea that I felt was unique and that I truly believed in so I (literally) jumped in, and took a leap of faith," Kloots told Forbes. "I knew that I was on to something great, I just had to make everyone see." 

She has a glass-half-full philosophy of life

While Amanda Kloots watched the health of husband Nick Cordero deteriorate due to COVID-19, she refused to sink into depression. "As far as I can remember, I have been a glass-half-full type of person," Kloots told Health. "I always start my day with a positive quote, something that will resonate with me for the whole day."

In an interview with Washington Post Live, Kloots explained how her own personal optimism came to inspire others online by the positivity she spread on social media. "I remember it clearly," she said, recalling waking up one day and being greeted by a disturbing Instagram post of the type that "immediately makes your day change in a negative way. And I quickly decided that day that I was going to switch my mood and find a positive thought." To emphasize that, she began posting a "positive thought of the day" on her Instagram Stories.

Kloots was also asked whether the way she defined optimism had altered since Cordero's death in July 2020. "I don't think the definition has changed for me. I think it maybe just has a deeper meaning," she explained. She also admitted that remaining optimistic can sometimes be a challenge. "I'm not trying to say that I am optimistic every second of every day, but it's just — it's ways to find that optimism, you know, to keep yourself optimistic," Kloots shared.

Amanda Kloots inspired a song by Billie Eilish's brother Finneas

Amanda Kloots tends to be inspired by music, something she discussed in an interview with Inside/Out. "I listen to music all day every day and am always trying to find the best new songs or the best songs from years ago. It's a constant battle!" she said.

One new song that had a particularly personal impact on Kloots was "What They Say About Us" from Finneas — because it was written about her relationship with late husband Nick Cordero during his battle with COVID-19. In the song, Finneas (a.k.a brother and collaborator of Billie Eilish) sings, "And if you don't wake up/I'll know you tried to," and referencing the couple's young son in the lyric, "I wish you could see him/He looks just like you."

Finneas spoke with Kloots about his song when he appeared on "The Talk," revealing that checking her Instagram for updates on Cordero's condition had become a habit for him. Kloots' vivid social media posts, he said, let him feel like he was part of her experience. "I can't thank you enough for allowing me and people like me to get to know you and your family through all of this," Finneas said. "What's crazy to me is you were somehow able to capture that journey that I went on without ever meeting me," Kloots marveled.

How she channelled the grief over her husband's death into a moving memoir

In sharing Instagram updates on the health of husband Nick Cordero before he was taken by COVID-19, Amanda Kloots suddenly found herself more famous than she'd ever imagined. "It's such a juxtaposition, it's such a weird state," admitted Kloots of becoming a celebrity through those heart-rending social media posts, per The New York Times.

Kloots delved even deeper into her experience losing Cordero in a memoir, "Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero." As Kloots explained in an interview with Vogue, she hadn't been shopping around for a book deal but was approached by an editor at HarperCollins whom she already knew and who'd taken her fitness classes. "At the time, HBO had shown interest in following me around and doing a documentary," she said, noting that her response to that "was like, 'Oh, my gosh, no. Absolutely no.'" Writing a book, however, felt like a far less invasive process than a documentary, and also proved to be helpful as she worked through her grief.

"I found myself staying up till 1:30 in the morning, crying my eyes out, writing bits and pieces of things that I wanted to get down as soon as possible. I immediately felt the relief," she added. "That transition of thought to paper was already so therapeutic. You honestly don't even know what you're experiencing until you write it down and then read it back to yourself."

She confronted criticism for dating after her husband's death

About a year after the death of her husband Nick Cordero, Amanda Kloots decided to dip her toe back into the dating pool — and was hit with immediate backlash by those who felt that wasn't a sufficient amount of time for her to work through her grief and get on with her life. When a commenter wrote that she'd been "fast" to begin dating, Kloots clapped back. "How dare you judge anyone, especially someone going through this process," Kloots wrote in a post she shared on her Instagram Story, as reported by USA Today.

"I am totally open to finding love again," she said in a candid interview with Yahoo! Life. Kloots revealed that having a life companion is something that is important to her, saying, "I love love. I love being married. ... I would love to have somebody in [son] Elvis' life that would be that male figure for him."

Furthermore, Kloots said she believed her late husband would approve of her moving forward and finding love once again. "I know that because I would want that for him, if the tables were turned and it was me," she declared. "I'm hopeful that there's somebody else out there for me. I really am. And when I'm ready, I hope that Nick brings him to me ... I'm sure he'll have his fingers up in heaven orchestrating something."

Amanda Kloots shared a painful confession about her marriage

While there's no questioning the love that Amanda Kloots had for late husband Nick Cordero, she's also opened up about the fact that her marriage wasn't perfect. In an interview with The New York Times, Kloots shared her biggest regret. "I was not a good wife," she admitted. 

As Kloots recounted, Cordero was passionate about pursuing a music career in Los Angeles — despite being a sought-after Broadway performer who was thriving in New York. "I was not understanding any of it," Kloots said of Cordero's desire to write songs. "I was like, 'This is a waste of time, and we have no money.' He did not feel supported by me. I wasn't supportive." After she and Cordero fought about moving to the west coast for about a year, she came to learn an important lesson. "I finally came to a place of, 'This is marriage, you have to compromise,'" she said. 

Sadly, Cordero never got the chance to share his music with the world. Shortly after they'd made the move to L.A., he contracted COVID-19 and died a few months later at age 41. According to Kloots, she "learned to appreciate his music too late," a regret that still haunts her. "But I'm determined to keep his voice alive," she added.

Why she viewed Dancing With the Stars as part of her healing journey

In 2021, ABC announced the cast that had been assembled for the milestone 30th season of "Dancing With the Stars," a roster of celebrities that included Amanda Kloots. In an interview with HollywoodLife, Kloots revealed why she'd decided to take her dancing skills in pursuit of the mirrorball trophy. 

"I think just to be able to give myself time out of my day to do something that I love and to be able to then perform and release those emotions," she said. As she explained, it felt like "therapy" to be able to focus on dancing instead of on her grief. The opportunity to "sort of be selfish and go dance every day and learn a new skill and challenge myself at a time where I felt like I had lost myself has been super rewarding," she added. 

Speaking with the "Now You Know Akron" podcast, reported the Akron Beacon Journal, Kloots credited her dance partner Alan Bersten for helping her through a very difficult time. "He's helped me just become OK with the idea of being with a person again, being with somebody again all the time every day, trusting somebody again, crying with somebody again, laughing, all the things that you get worried about in life because you have lost your person in life," she said. So while she didn't win the competition (she and Bersten finished fourth, per Parade), her lengthy stay on the show clearly made her feel like a winner. 

A fan campaign contributed to Amanda Kloots joining The Talk

In the fall of 2020, Marie Osmond revealed she was leaving CBS daytime show "The Talk" after just one season (reportedly at the behest of co-hosts Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood, claimed Page Six). After Osmond's exit, Amanda Kloots appeared in a guest-hosting capacity. Fans of the show loved her, with The Sun reporting on a viewer-led movement to bring her in as the permanent replacement for Osmond. According to the newspaper, fans shared their thoughts in comments on the show's Facebook page, with one chiming in, "I wish you would make Amanda Kloots a regular commentator," while a second wrote, "You guys need to make Amanda Kloots a co-host on the show. She's fantastic, likable and smart."

Viewers spoke and "The Talk" listened. Just a few weeks later, fans saw their hopes come to fruition when CBS announced Kloots had been hired as a full-time host for the 11th season of "The Talk." "I am thrilled and honored to join this incredible cast and crew. From the very first time I guest co-hosted on 'The Talk,' I knew I was among a very special group of people," said Kloots in a statement. 

Speaking with People about her new television role, Kloots added, "I'm really just looking forward to evolving as a person. I love growing and learning and being open to receiving information."

She released a posthumous duet with late husband Nick Cordero

Prior to Nick Cordero's coronavirus-related death, the Broadway star had been focusing his energies on writing and recording music. In honor of her late husband, and in celebration of the date that would have marked their third wedding anniversary, Amanda Kloots completed one of the songs Cordero had been working on.

Featuring Kloots harmonizing with her late husband, she shared the song — "Not Far Away" — on Instagram. "Happy 3rd Anniversary Nick!" Kloots wrote in the caption accompanying a video in which the song serves as the soundtrack to a collection of the couple's wedding photos. "For your gift, I give you music — the release of your song, Not Far Away. I think you'd love it and be very proud," she continued, adding, "It's your heart and soul for the world to hear."

In a previous Instagram post, Kloots revealed she completed the song with the help of Rickey Minor, who's served as musical director for singer Whitney Houston, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "American Idol." Minor, she explained, helped her write an additional verse and add her vocals to Cordero's track. "This was one special night ... I got to sing with Nick!" Kloots wrote of vocalizing with her late husband. "I cried a lot, but Rickey guided me through it every step of the way."

Why Amanda Kloots hates being called a widow — and the word she'd prefer to be used

Amanda Kloots has often been referred to as the widow of late Broadway star Nick Cordero, but it's a word she personally dislikes. She explained why in an Instagram post in which she delved into "the Indo-European root meaning of the word." As Kloots wrote, the meaning of "widow" is "be empty." 

"I have to identify myself with a word that means to stay 'empty' — no wonder I hate saying the word!" she added, reminding her followers that she's "not a glass half empty kind of girl!"

She also pointed to the irony of a discovery she'd made after connecting with others who'd lost a spouse, in that "we are everything but 'being empty.' We are desperate to FILL our cup! We are trying everyday to live a life that is overflowing in presence and gratitude." She suggested an alternative word that carries a more "hopeful" connotation, that "gives us strength and power" along with some optimism. "Renovare, means to 'renew.' I'm not sure if it's the right word, but it sure defines me more than 'be empty,'" she wrote.

She bonded with Bob Saget's widow over their shared grief

Comedy fans were saddened to learn in February 2022 that beloved "Full House" star Bob Saget had died at age 65. Shortly after Saget's passing, Amanda Kloots took to Instagram to share a selfie with Saget's widow, Kelly Rizzo, to reveal that the two had connected over the grief they share for their respective late husbands. 

"New friends in a club we didn't ever think we'd be in. So grateful to now know this strong woman, sharing stories only helps this rollercoaster we are on," wrote Kloots in the caption, ending with a heart emoji. Rizzo felt the same way, sharing a response in a comment. "If I'm going to be in this club, I'm grateful to have genuine caring people like you by my side," Rizzo wrote. 

As Kloots explained in an interview with Byrdie, she'd come to an understanding of the grieving process. "Grief will always find you, or what I've found is that it kind of finds you at the weirdest times," she said. Kloots has also continued to hold her late husband Nick Cordero in her thoughts. "I literally go to bed every night praying that Nick will visit me in my dreams," she added, "but he hasn't yet."