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Shelley Morrison, Rosario on ‘Will & Grace,’ dies at 83

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief illness, publicist Lori DeWaal told The Associated Press. 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.

“Rosario is one of my all-time favorite characters,” Morrison said recently, according to a statement and biography announcing her death. “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.”

Mullally, who played Morrison’s boss Karen Walker, praised the actress on Twitter.

“My heart is heavy. putting shelley, her beloved husband walter & their children in the light. thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed,” she tweeted.