×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shelley Morrison, ‘Will & Grace’ Actress, Dies at 83

Shelley Morrison, who played Karen Walker’s sharp-tongued yet endearing maid Rosario Salazar on “Will & Grace” from 1999-2006, has died. She was 83.

Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief illness, Morrison’s publicist, Lori DeWaal, told The Associated Press.

Rosario, who hailed from El Salvador, was originally written to appear in just one episode of the hit NBC series, but her dynamic with Megan Mullally’s Karen resonated so well with audiences that the charater went on to appear in 68 episodes over eight seasons of the original series. According to co-creator Max Mutchnick, Morrison was asked to reprise her role for the revival of “Will & Grace,” but had decided to retire from acting completely.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885557i) Shelley Morrison Will & Grace - 1998 NBC-TV USA TV Portrait
CREDIT: Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Sean Hayes, who played Jack McFarland on “Will & Grace,” remembered Morrison in an Instagram post.

“She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart,” he 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.”

Debra Messing also paid tribute to Morrison on Instagram.

“What a loss,” she wrote. “Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie.”

Mullally wrote that “her heart is heavy.”

“Thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed.”

Eric McCormack wrote that Morrison was “a beautiful soul and wonderful actor,” and lauded her performance on “Will & Grace,” calling it “as nuanced and real as it was hysterical.”

“Rosario is one of my all-time favorite characters,” Morrison said recently, according to the AP. “She reminds me a lot of my own mother, who loved animals and children, but she would not suffer fools. It is very significant to me that we were able to show an older, Hispanic woman who is bright and smart and can hold her own.”

Cast of WILL AND GRACEEmmy Awards - 10 Sept 2000 September 10, 2000 Los Angeles, CA Shelley Morrison, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes Press Room at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium. Photo®Berliner Studio/BEImages
CREDIT: Bei/Shutterstock

The “Will & Grace” ensemble, including Morrison, was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in 2002 and 2004. Morrison received two American Latino Media Arts Award nominations for outstanding supporting actress in a TV series in 2006 and 2002, as well as one for outstanding actress in a TV series in 2001 for her role on the show.

Before her turn on “Will & Grace,” Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on “The Flying Nun” alongside Sally Field in the late ’60s and early ’70s. She also had extensive credits as a guest actress, including roles on “The Partridge Family,” “Three’s A Crowd,” “My Favorite Martian,” “Laredo,” “Gunsmoke” and “General Hospital.” She also appeared in the 1997 rom-com “Fools Rush In,” with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry.

Morrison is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Walter Dominguez.

More TV

  • Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin Hijacks 'Peloton

    Ryan Reynolds Hijacks 'Peloton Wife,' Wrings New Buzz From Old Ad Trick

    The “Peloton Wife” is on the verge of striking up a new relationship outside her marriage The actress who plays the controversial Madison Avenue figure in a commercial for the luxury physical-fitness company is back in a new ad campaign – for another marketer that has little to do with promoting a healthy lifestyle. Aviation [...]

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins Big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content