Shelley Morrison: Tributes after Will & Grace actress dies aged 83

Shelley MorrisonImage copyright
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Actress Shelley Morrison, best known for playing maid Rosario in TV comedy Will and Grace, has died aged 83.

The New Yorker played Rosario Salazar in 68 episodes of the sitcom from 1999 to 2006.

The character, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was only due to appear once but proved so popular with viewers she made regular appearances.

Debra Messing, who plays Grace Adler, led the tributes, posting on Instagram: “Oh, Shelley… what a loss.”

She added: “Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie.

“She was a kind soul with a huge heart and always had a smile on her face. All my love to Walter and the entire family.”

Morrison’s much-loved character worked as a maid for Grace’s assistant, Karen Walker, and married her gay friend Jack McFarland in order to get a green card to stay in the country. Predictably the marriage didn’t last and they were soon divorced so Rosario could see other men.

Megan Mullally, who plays Karen, said her “heart is heavy” with the news of Morrison’s death, noting that she “accomplished wonderful things in this world”.

Image Copyright @MeganMullally

Twitter post by @MeganMullally: just got a bulletin on my phone that shelley morrison has passed. my heart is heavy. putting shelley, her beloved husband walter  their children in the light. thank you for your friendship  partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed. Image Copyright @MeganMullally

Actor Sean Hayes, who portrays Jack, described the late star as “absolutely hilarious” with “the biggest heart”.

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The actress died of heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday, her publicist Lori DeWaal confirmed.

Morrison was offered the chance to reprise her role when the series, which originally ended in 2006, was revived in 2017, but she declined, having retired from acting.

Her other career roles included playing Sister Sixto in The Flying Nun with Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.

She also appeared in films alongside Salma Hayek, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn.

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