Over60

TV

Will and Grace star Shelley Morrison dies at 83

Will and Grace star Shelley Morrison dies at 83

A veteran actress with a career spanning over 50 years, Shelley Morrison, has passed away. 

Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief bout with illness, her publicist Lori Dewaal told The Associated Press. 

She was 83-years-old. 

Morrison pulled off the role of an animated maid from El Salvador flawlessly and became such staple figure, her small role would go on to become one where she would appear in 68 episodes over the course of Will and Grace’s eight-season tenure. 

What was meant to be a character written for one single episode, became a staple to the show and was one of Morrison’s “all-time favourite characters.”

In a biography she wrote before her death, she said: “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,” 

Before making strides on Will and Grace, Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.

She guest-starred on dozens of television series starting in the 1960s. 

This includes The Fugitive, L.A. and Law and Murder, She Wrote. 

Most recently, she voiced a character, Mrs. Portillo, on the Disney animated series Handy Manny.

Born Rachel Mitrani to Jewish parents from Spain in the Bronx, New York, in 1936, Morrison spoke primarily Spanish as a child.

The actress majorly was cast primarily as Latina characters, but she played a range of ethnicities in theatre, television and film.

Her movie roles put her in casts with Hollywood’s biggest stars over the years. 

She appeared with Dean Martin in 1968’s How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, with Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl the same year, with Gregory Peck in 1969’s Mackenna’s Gold, with Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills in 1989, and with Salma Hayek in Fools Rush In in 1997.

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

Scroll through the gallery to see Shelley Morrison over the years.