US character actress Shelley Morrison, best known for Will & Grace and The Flying Nun, has died aged 83.
She died in an LA hospital from heart failure after a brief illness.
Morrison (pictured right) played Karen Walker’s sharp-tongued yet endearing maid Rosario Salazar from 1999-2006,
The character was originally written to appear in just one episode, but her chemistry with Megan Mullally’s Karen resonated so well she went on to appear in 68 episodes over eight seasons.
She was also asked to reprise her role for the recent revival, but retired from acting completely.
She played Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun for three seasons.
Her other credits included Gunsmoke, Dr. Kildare, General Hospital, The Fugitive, My Favourite Martian, The Streets of San Francisco, Marcus Welby MD, The Partridge Family, Soap, Murder She Wrote, LA Law, Columbo, My Name is Earl, and Home Improvement.
The Will & Grace cast took to social media to express condolences.
“She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart,” Sean Hayes wrote. “She was part of our Will and Grace family and will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to her husband, Walter and her entire family.”
“What a loss,” Debra Messing wrote. “ 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.”
Megan Mullally wrote, “Shelley Morrison has passed. she was such an integral and important part of my experience at Will & Grace, and became a friend in the intervening years. She was loving, strong, supportive, and kind. She and her husband Walter Dominguez had a wonderful, loving, and inspiring 46-year marriage. he was always by her side. Please put him and their children and grandchildren in your thoughts. I will miss you, Shelley. Thank you for the years of partnership and for your friendship and support. Te amo, Mami.”
Eric McCormack wrote, “Shelley was a beautiful soul and wonderful actor. Her work as Rosario, season after season, was as nuanced and real as it was hysterical. She will be missed by everyone at #WillandGrace. She’s a huge part of it. Sending so much love to Walter and Shelley’s whole family.”