Mor­ri­son of ‘Will & Grace’ dies at 83

Toronto Star - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

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.

KEVORK DJANSEZIAN THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

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.

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