Chicago actress and comedian Erica Watson died in Jamaica on Saturday from complications from COVID-19, according to a family member. She was 48 years old.
On Sunday, Watson’s brother, Eric Watson, confirmed his sister’s death via a Facebook post, writing, in part: “We’re not taking it easy. Please respect our privacy right now … while we make arrangements to bring my sister home. Keep us in your prayers. “
Watson, an alumnus of Kenwood Academy High School and Columbia College, served as an actress, comedian, public relations representative, and activist. His acting and media credits include Showtime’s “The Chi,” NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” Spike Lee’s feature film “Chi-Raq,” ABC 7’s “Windy City Live,” and WCIU’s “The Jam.” .
South Side businesswoman Qiana Allen met Watson in 2014 when she attended “Fat B ****!” – the program written and performed by the actress.
When the two became friends, Watson took on the role of Allen’s publicist. She says Watson was working remotely from Jamaica due to concerns she had regarding COVID-19 in the states.
“[Erica] he would share all his knowledge with anyone, especially if he sees something in them, ”said Allen, owner of Culture’s Closet and co-owner of the Beverly cereal bar, Munchiez. “I had so many dreams and aspirations that I wanted to fulfill, and that’s what bothers me the most: I will never have the opportunity to fulfill those things.
In 2018, Watson created “Fierce,” a cosmetics collection in a brand partnership with Nena Cosmetics, where she was one of the cover girls for their ads.
“When I was a child, ‘What are girls made of?’ It was my favorite nursery rhyme, but she was not the normal girl in which there was only sugar, spices and everything good. There was a bit of mischief in the mix, ”she told the Sun-Times in 2018.
Watson, whose birthday was last Friday, was well known to a variety of Chicago creatives and civic leaders who took to social media when news of her passing spread.
Gabriel and Soldayane Miranda, owners of Temple Fuel, a food preparation and catering company, met Watson at a 2013 event. Watson started out as his mentor, but eventually became part of their family.
“[Erica] He was always taking care of us; looking for work or opportunities for my husband too, ”said Soldayane Miranda. “She was always willing to help us, listen to us or guide us in anything. She was very, very sweet, caring, and selfless. She was always taking care of others. “
“When I was going to be on television, she would call me, prepare me and give me the confidence to be myself, this is heartbreaking,” said Gabriel Miranda.
Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx tweeted: “Erica was a bright and talented light. With every conversation, he made you feel like you had been friends for years, even if you had only met virtually. “
On Monday, the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) released a statement regarding Watson’s passing. He performed at their 2020 Christmas event.
“Erica Watson was a dear friend of NABJ Chicago. She was a servant leader who, despite her many projects and initiatives, always put her community first, ”the statement reads. “That extended to our mission of inclusion and diversity of the media. That shared passion, combined with his unbridled talent and joyous spirit, is an incredible loss to Chicago. She loved her hometown and we love her too. Rest in power, sister. We send our condolences and prayers to the Watson family. “