Steve Buscemi Breaks Silence After Losing Wife Jo Andres to Cancer

One of the most beloved character actors in the world was the subject of a major profile by GQ as The Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs, and Ghost World star Steve Buscemi took the spotlight for once. While discussing his career and life as an artist, the 62-year-old actor opened up about losing his wife, the late Jo Andres, herself an artist and choreographer. The pair were married for over thirty years until her death in 2019 from complications related to cancer, with Buscemi admitting: “The pain was the hardest thing. People who are going through that, it's painful. It's painful to die from cancer. There's just no way around it.”

The actor went on to say that he never thought about death prior to his wife's passing but changed his mind after seeing it first hand. “If I should happen to go not suddenly, I hope I could be as present as Jo was,” he added. “She led the way. She was surrounded by friends and family. She really faced it. I really don't think she was afraid of dying. I think it was just a whole series of ‘Oh, I don't get to do this anymore.’ ”

GQ's profile on Buscemi (who confirmed in the text that he pronounces his last name as "boo-sem-ee" and not "boo-shem-ee") went on to tell the tale of how the pair met. Andres and Buscemi both lived in the East Village of New York City where he was performing in a comedy duo (with none other than fellow character actor Mark Boone Junior) and she was an artist.

“Between both of our worlds, there was always somebody doing a show or a place to go to hang out,” Buscemi said, elaborating on his late wife's work style. “Jo really trusted her intuition and would just kind of put images out there and didn't feel the need to have to explain it or have to make sense.She just had to feel a certain way, like she was trying to evoke a feeling, or a mood.”

Buscemi further elaborated about what he's been doing in the time since Jo's death, adding that he paints in his free time and has been cleaning out the three-story brownstone that they shared.

“It's been over a year now since Jo passed, and I'm just starting to feel lighter," he said. "It is very strange that, oh, now this is happening (the pandemic). If it was another personal thing, I think that would be really hard. But the fact that everybody's going through it doesn't feel as isolating. It feels like it's something that we're doing together.”


Steve Buscemi can next be seen in the The King of Staten Island alongside Pete Davidson which arrives on VOD platforms on June 12.

(Cover photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)