Nikki Moran dies: Former Second City actor and writer was 45 years old
The first time Nikki Margolis saw the performance of comedian Nikki Moran, it was a solo show in 2002 for iO Theatre.
Mrs. Moran stepped onto the stage, exuding confidence, flavors swaying from her hand. Music filled the stage with fervor as she took her place on stage, and all Margulies could think was, “She’s really going to use these nunchaks!”
She was kinda right. Instead of being a martial arts expert expertly swinging, Ms. Moran ended up hitting herself.
“I remember sitting in the audience crying laughing because that was, to me, the essence of Nikki,” Margulies said. “She has always surprised you.”
Margulies was Mrs. Moran’s coach, and even then, she could tell Mrs. Moran was a shining star.
Her family confirmed in a Facebook post on Thursday that Ms Moran – an actress, writer, comedian, singer and dancer – died Tuesday morning after a three-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 45 years old.
“It seems impossible that her irrepressible light could have been extinguished. If you knew Nikki, you experienced her genuine goodness, overwhelming generosity, selfless love, and crazy next-level sense of humor,” her brother Kjell Lindgren wrote to the family. “She was a role model.” For courage in the face of adversity and unrelenting pain. Her bright smile blessed us to the end. We will miss her very much.”
She had shared the news of her diagnosis in July on Facebook. Despite the hormone-suppressive treatment plan, Ms. Moran wrote, the cancer had spread from her spine to several other parts of her body. You were given five years at most to live.
During Moran’s years in Chicago, she was known as Nikki Lindgren. Her love of the performing arts brought her to the Annoyance Theater and iO Chicago, where she became part of a band called Bevy, known for being all-female but also for the performers’ commitment to supporting each other.
“If someone laughs well, everyone is proud of them,” Moran told The Sun Times in 2003.
Mrs. Moran sang for the first time with Second City in 2002 and remained active there until 2008, participating in writing and performing in three plays in the theater etc.
As usual in Second City, she played several roles on each show. In her first film, Immaculate Deception, (2005), she appears as a school pageant director as well as a meaningless obstetrician trying to split the prospective couple. Remarkably, she played a steely Chinese restaurateur who would make lethal comments to other actors. After That, turning to the audience, you’ll ask them some questions — and say devastating things about them, too.
“I kind of forgot she did it!” Margolis said, laughing. She co-starred with Mrs. Moran in the movie “Immaculate Deception”, in addition to her other shows, etc.: “Disposable Nation” and “Pratfall of Civilization”.
“She had such a relationship with [the audience] Margolis added. “She just had the ability to really express herself in a way that was so bold, yet made everyone feel safe. It was this kind of living irony.”
The second city said in a statement that it was “devastated” by the news of Ms Moran’s death.
“Nikki’s creative prowess has only been surpassed by her big heart and courageous spirit,” the statement, which was posted on Facebook, read. Our hearts are with her husband, Joe [Moran]and her family, colleagues in the improvisation community and the countless lives she has experienced during her lifetime. Nikki has dealt with her illness the same way she has dealt with her life: with an unlimited capacity to laugh.”
Accompanying this post was a Video posted in January 2019 after her diagnosis, Mrs. Moran appears while her husband is shaving her hair. She bows her head briefly at the completion of the act before the jump cut makes her head very visible, in perfect make-up and a gold jumpsuit with a red robe.
She and her husband, dressed in a green suit and a blue speedo, ran down an alley, a playground, and a front porch, dancing in their clothes. And it all goes back to the soundtrack to The Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
“She tells you everything you need to know about Nikki,” Margulies said. “It’s all funny and amazing all at once and then you just cry because that’s just Nikki’s soul.”
Ms. Moran’s family will have a “celebration of life” on November 6 in northern Virginia, where she and her husband, Joe Moran, lived with their dog Loki near her parents.