Erica Watson Dies: Comedian and ‘Precious’ Actress Was 48

Erica Watson headshot

Erica Watson, a stand-up comedian and actress best known for her appearances in the 2009 film Precious and the Fox television series Empire, has died. She was 48.

Watson passed away Saturday in Jamaica from complications of COVID-19, her brother Eric Watson shared on Facebook, writing: “We are not taking this easy. Please respect our privacy right now… as we make arrangements to bring my sister home. Keep us in your prayers.”

Watson’s friend and publicist Qiana Allen told the Chicago Sun-Times the performer was working remotely in Jamaica to get away from the pandemic situation in the U.S.

“She had so many dreams and aspirations that she wanted to complete, and that bothers me the most — she’ll never get a chance to fulfill those things,” Allen said.

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Watson’s other acting credits included Chicago Fire, Chi-Raq and The Chi, according to her IMDb page.

She was a frequent and popular guest on ABC 7’s “Windy City Live,” where she spoke about moving to the Caribbean.

The show paid tribute to her on Monday, writing in a tweet: “@EricaFayeWatson was a part of our show from the beginning. We are gutted by her death. Please join us tomorrow to pay tribute to our friend.”

The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) also remembered Watson, who performed at their 2020 holiday event.

“Erica Watson was a dear friend of NABJ Chicago. She was a servant leader who, despite her multiple projects and initiatives, always put her community first,” the group said in a statement. “She loved her hometown, and we loved her back. Rest in power, sis. We send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the Watson family.”

Watch the “Windy City Live” tribute to Erica Watson below: