Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi’s wife, has died, according to a tabloid report. Buscemi and Andres were married in 1987. The couple has one son, Lucian, together. She was 64 years old. Radar Online was the first to report that Andres had tragically passed away. A cause of death has not been made public at the time of writing. Andres’ death was further confirmed by E! Online.
The Radar report mentioned that several of Buscemi’s friends, including actors John and Aida Turturro, could be seen at his home in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn on January 9. The site says that Andres’ funeral was held that day. TMZ later reported that Andres died on the weekend before January 9, friends could be seen coming to the family’s home on January 7. Andres’ body was taken from the home in a wicker casket. TMZ reports that the company who handled the funeral specializes in “natural burials.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Andres Was a Celebrated Filmmaker & Choreographer
Andres, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, was a celebrated filmmaker and choreographer in her own right. She was a film student at Ohio University, where she graduated with a Master’s in 1984.
On her official website, it says Andres “first became known on the downtown New York performance scene of the 1980s for her film/dance/light performances.” In 1996, Andres made her directorial debut with the movie, “Black Kites.”
The film is described as being about “survival based on the true journals of an artist during the siege of Sarajevo.” The film starred her son, Lucian, and well as her husband. The film was based on the work of Bosnian artist Alma Hajric. The film aired on PBS as well as at Sundance and at the Toronto Film Festival.
Andres says on her website that she was a choreographer with the Wooster Group, a New York dance troupe. The final work listed on her website is a music video for Diana Krall’s, “When the Curtain Comes Down.”
2. Andres’ Son Was in a ‘Math Rock Band’
Until 2012, Lucian Buscemi was in a “math rock band” named Fiasco where he played drums and keyboards. In a 1996 interview, Buscemi spoke about becoming a father said, “I feel my life has more meaning because I am responsible for another life, although I don’t have control over what Lucian [their five-year-old son] is going to do. He’s definitely going to carve his own way.” Buscemi went on to say that he hoped his son would become a scientist, saying his son did not “seem impressed” with acting.
On his IMDb page, Lucian Buscemi is listed as having worked on numerous movies including James Franco’s 2011 “Sal.”
3. Buscemi Once Said, ‘If My Wife Ever Leaves Me, Maybe I’ll Start Writing Songs Again’
Buscemi has been quoted in the past as saying that in his youth he wrote love songs about Andres. Buscemi said he was inspired because she had left him to travel around Europe for a month with her ex-boyfriend. Buscemi says that when Andres returned “things headed up against between us.” Buscemi added, “If she ever leaves me, maybe I’ll start writing songs again. But I’d much rather be happy with her than writing sad songs without her.”
In 2009, Buscemi was asked in an Independent interview what his favorite work of art was, he answered, “Probably something by my wife Jo Andres. She paints, she makes films, she has done performance.”
4. Andres Expressed Her Happiness in 2011 After a Blog About Their Family Home Was Removed
In 2011, a blog appeared titled, “What’s on Steve Buscemi’s Stoop?” The blog website published photos of the Buscemi family home and the random items that would appear on their stoop. They were apparently gifts Buscemi had laid out for those passing by. The blog was later removed at the request of Lucian Buscemi, reported the New York Post. Andres told the Post at the time, “We have been good neighbors for 20 years and now we have been inundated. We’d like respect and consideration and would like to be left alone.”
The couple’s involvement in ISSUE Project Room, a charity that helps to provide space for young artists to hone their craft, was covered by NBC News in February 2011. Andres told the network, “If we don’t have a place where artists can [have] a voice then it’s a loss from the whole culture. It seems like Europe has always known that but we’re always fighting for it here with a lack of funding. We’ve had to push to hard to have our voice heard. I think that it’s really critical, and positive, that we have this space to work in.”
5. Buscemi Was Absent From ‘The Sopranos’ Celebrations That Occurred on the Week of His Wife’s Death
The week of Andres’ death coincided with the 20th anniversary of the first episode of “The Sopranos” on HBO. As a result, the cast of the show performed multiple media appearances to celebrate the event. Buscemi starred in the show’s fifth season as Tony Soprano’s cousin, Tony Blundetto. In addition, Buscemi directed multiple episodes of the show, including arguably the series’ most celebrated episode, 2001’s “Pine Barrens.”