Actress Shelley Morrison, best known as Will & Grace’s acerbic housekeeper Rosario, has died at age 83.
Morrison’s publicist Lori DeWaal confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the actress succumbed to heart failure following a “brief illness” on Sunday.
Morrison first gained notoriety as Puerto Rican nun Sister Sixto alongside Sally Field on The Flying Nun, which she appeared on from 1967-1970. But her greatest role, and the one she is most beloved for, was Karen Walker’s cantankerous maid on the beloved sitcom Will & Grace. Morrison was originally slated to be a one-time guest star, but made such an impression that she appeared in 67 more episodes. Rosario was always a fan favorite, thanks to her unmatched ability to go to-to-toe with Megan Mullally’s Karen — nd her brief green card marriage to Sean Hayes’ Jack.
Morrison was invited to be part of the show’s revival, but according to series creator Max Mutchnick, she turned the role down, saying she had retired. The show explained her absence with Rosario’s death, and even dedicated an entire episode to her funeral.
“Oh, Shelley … what a loss,” tweeted Will & Grace star Debra Messing. “Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie.”
Erick McCormack, who plays Will on the series, called Morrison a “beautiful soul” and said that “her work as Rosario, season after season, was as nuanced and real as it was hysterical.”
The revival of Will & Grace will end with its current third season. Might we get another tribute to Rosario and Morrison before it’s over?