Actress Shelley Morrison, best known for her roles on “The Flying Nun” and “Will & Grace,” died on Sunday, a representative told Entertainment Tonight. She was 83 years old.
Morrison died from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, her publicist, Lori DeWaal, told ET. She had just suffered a brief illness, DeWaal said.
The actress played Rosario Salazar on “Will & Grace” from 1999 to 2006. She was the maid to Megan Mullally’s character, Karen and the two often bantered back and forth. Mullally tweeted that her heart was heavy after learning about her co-star’s passing.
“Putting shelley, her beloved husband walter & their children in the light,” Mullally tweeted. “thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed.”
Other “Will & Grace” stars shared their condolences and fond memories of Morrison, who was married to director Walter Dominguez for 40 years. “She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart,” Sean Hayes, who plays Jack on the sitcom, wrote on Instagram.
Morrison held many stage and screen roles throughout her 50-year career. She played Sister Sixto alongside Sally Field on “The Flying Nun,” and more recently, she voiced Mrs. Portillo on the children’s cartoon “Handy Manny.”
Morrison was born Rachel Mitrani to Jewish parents of Hispanic descent, according to an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from the height of “Will & Grace.”
In the 2004 interview, Morrison explained how she got her stage name – her father’s name was Morris, and in college, friends called her Shelley. She also said what made the character of Rosario Salazar “work” was that she was a “grounding influence.”
“Rosario is not over the top. The character has hit a chord,” Morrison said. “She’s an elder, a Hispanic with dignity, who doesn’t take any guff and who says things a lot of people would like to say.”