Best known for her role as Rosario, Karen Walker’s maid on Will & Grace, Bronx born and raised actress, Shelley Morrison died on Sunday at the age of 83.
Born Rachel Mitrani to Sephardic Jewish parents from Spain, she lived the first decade of her life in the South Bronx before moving to California in 1946 with her family.
In 1967 she rose to fame as Sister Sixto in Sally Field’s ‘The Flying Nun’, a role that she played until the show was canned in 1970.
But her big rise to fame came when she played Rosario on Will & Grace for 7 years until the show ended in 2006 and then in a special episode of the show in 2016.
The New York Times wrote:
“Shelley’s greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for L.G.B.T.Q. people,” Mr. Dominguez said in a statement. “She also took pride in portraying a strong, loving yet feisty Latina character.”
He added: “She believed that the best way to change hearts and minds was through comedy.”
The daughter of Spanish immigrants, Ms. Morrison was born and raised in the Bronx, where a street sign carries her name at 159th Street and Grand Concourse Boulevard as part of the Bronx Walk of Fame. After moving to Los Angeles, she attended Los Angeles City College and began her stage career, becoming one of the city’s first female stage producers.
Thanks for the laughs, Shelley, you’ll always be our Rosie.