Morrison of ‘Will & Grace’ dies at 83
Shelley Morrison, an actress with a 50-year career who was best known for playing a memorable maid on “Will & Grace,” died Sunday, her publicist said. Morrison died from heart failure after a brief illness, publicist Lori DeWaal said. She was 83.
Morrison played Rosario Salazar, a maid from El Salvador, in the original run of “Will & Grace” from 1999 to 2006, becoming part of a cast that won a Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in a comedy series. The character, originally written for a single episode, proved so popular in her interactions with co-star Megan Mullally that she would appear in 68 episodes during the NBC series’ eight seasons.
Mullally, who played Morrison’s boss Karen Walker, tweeted: “My heart is heavy. thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed.” Eric McCormack, who starred as Will, recalled Morrison as a “beautiful soul” and wonderful actor. Debra Messing, who starred as Grace, tweeted: “Oh, Shelley ... what a loss. Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie.” Sean Hayes, who played Jack McFarland on the sitcom, wrote on Instagram that Morrison “was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart.”
Besides the opportunity to portray a strong Latina, Morrison valued “Will & Grace” for its breakthrough TV depiction of gay characters, said her husband, Walter Dominguez.
Morrison is survived by her husband of more than 40 years. The Associated Press
‘Jagged Little Pill’ anniversary tour
Alanis Morissette is set to go on a world tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of her breakthrough album “Jagged Little Pill.” The pre-sale for the tour begins Dec. 10 and the general sale will start Dec. 13. The U.S. rockers Garbage will be a special guest on the tour, which will also include an appearance by singer-songwriter Liz Phair. The Ottawa-born singer-songwriter will start the 31-date tour June 2 in Portland, Ore., and wrap July 25 in Nashville, Tenn. The only Canadian stop listed is Toronto on July 11. “Jagged Little Pill,” released in 1995, won several Grammy Awards. The Canadian Press
Musical returns for benefit event
The original cast will be back when “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” gets a one-night benefit staging in January. Married playwrights David Hein and Irene Sankoff — who have since become pretty famous for a little thing called “Come From Away” — will again play themselves in the autobiographical musical about a son whose mother discovers her Judaism after her divorce and falls in love with a woman who’s a Wiccan. Among the actors returning from the show’s 2009 Fringe Festival debut and the 2010 Mirvish staging are Lisa Horner as mother Claire, Rosemary Doyle as her girlfriend Jane and Kyle Orzech as Young David. Original director Andrew Lamb also returns. The 10-year anniversary presentation takes place Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Royal Alexandra Theatre with net proceeds going to Planned Parenthood Toronto. See mirvish.com for tickets. Debra Yeo
Former ‘DWTS’ dancer speaks out
A former “Dancing With the Stars” cast member is speaking out after his son was told by a teacher that “two men living together is a sin.” The boy had told his classmates that he was grateful he was going to be adopted by his two foster dads:
Louis van Amstel, a former professional dancer on “DWTS,” and his husband, Josh. The substitute teacher told the 11-year-old, “That’s nothing to be thankful for,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune, then lectured the class for 30 minutes on homosexuality being “wrong.” Three girls reported the teacher, who was escorted from the school south of Salt Lake City. Van Amstel said he wondered how the teacher was allowed in the classroom to begin with and gave thanks on social media to the girls who spoke out. Days after the incident, the family’s neighbours decorated their house with paper hearts, saying, “We love you” and “We support you.” USA Today
Nobel winner to support writers
Poland’s Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk says she is starting a foundation to promote Polish literature as well as human rights and environment awareness. Tokarczuk is an outspoken critic of Poland’s right-wing government and of its policy of supporting mainly those artists who follow its conservative outlook. She said Monday she was offering 350,000 zlotys ($120,000 Canadian) for the Olga Tokarczuk Foundation that will offer undiscriminating support to Polish and foreign writers and authors. Tokarczuk will receive her award in a gala ceremony Dec. 10 in Stockholm. Poland’s culture minister has been lukewarm about the distinction and said he needs to try and finish reading her books.
Shelley Morrison, left, shown with the “Will & Grace” cast, played a maid during the show’s run from 1999 to 2006. The cast won a Screen Actors Guild award for best comedy ensemble in 2000.