Shelley Morrison of Will and Grace and General Hospital

Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

The actress best known for role on Will & Grace has passed away.

Soaps.com is saddened to report the death of actress Shelley Morrison on Sunday December 1.  Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief illness.

Morrison was born to Spanish immigrants in the Bronx, New York on October 26, 1936. She eventually moved to Los Angeles, California and attended Los Angeles City College. There she began her stage career and became one of the city’s first female stage producers. She met her husband non-fiction writer Walter Dominguez in 1973 and they spent 46 years together. The couple adopted three sons and three daughters through traditional Native American ceremonies, and also shared several grandchildren. A street sign carries Morrison’s name at 159th Street and Grand Concourse Boulevard as part of the Bronx Walk of Fame.

The late actress appeared on stage in more than 65 plays and guest-starred in over 150 television series. She made a career out of playing ethnic roles, including Native American women in Three Guns for Texas and Mackenna’s Gold, and Hispanic roles in Man and Boy and Troop Beverly Hills. Her first major television role was as Sister Sixto for over 56 episodes of The Flying Nun starring Sally Field. In 1982 she had the small role of Mrs. Ramirez on General Hospital. Most television viewers, however, know her as Karen Walker’s (Megan Mullally) feisty backtalking El Salvadorian housekeeper, Rosario Salazar, on Will & Grace. Originally slated to only appear in one episode, Morrison went on to star in 68 of them from 1999 until the show ended in 2006. Her last major television role was voicing Mrs. Portillo on Disney’s animated cartoon Handy Mandy for twelve episodes between 2006 through 2012. In more recent years she battled cancer, which led to her retreating from the business and opting not to return for the Will & Grace rebootHer former co-stars all posted tributes to her on social media.

Morrison is survived by her husband, children and grandchildren.

Soaps.com sends our condolences to them, as well as her television family and friends. We invite readers to browse a gallery of other stars daytime has lost in 2019.