Rebecca Luker, a 3-time Tony nominee born in Alabama, has died.
She was 59. The Helena native handed absent immediately after a struggle with ALS. She was spouse to actor Danny Burstein.
The New York Times experiences Luker’s death was confirmed by her agent Sarah Fargo. Luker introduced in February that she experienced ALS, also regarded as Lou Gehrig’s ailment.
“I have the greatest professional medical care in the world and the finest aid,” Luker stated by way of Twitter earlier this year. “My pricey partner Danny has been an angel. I will get nicely. In the meantime, we struggle and go ahead. Preserve us in your ideas.”
Luker’s ALS progressed to the level in which she could no longer stroll. Her arms and fingers bought weaker, as she disclosed in an interview with The New York Occasions. But she still could sing, as of June, when she recorded a Zoom functionality to raise revenue for the development of prosetin, an experimental drug that rescues motor neurons in ALS clients.
Luker was a beloved veteran actress on Broadway who gained Tony nominations for her performances in revivals of “Show Boat,” “The Songs Man” and “Mary Poppins.”
The Hollywood Reporter writes that her partner Danny Burstein, a fellow actor and Tony nominee, wrote two columns for the journal and web-site about his recovery from COVID-19 and how Luker helped him via the illness. Luker and Burstein not too long ago discussed how their health problems transformed their life and professions with NPR’s Terry Gross.
Burstein’s August 2020 column for THR provided a simple-spoken, poignant update on Luker’s indications. “She just cannot brush her hair currently,” he wrote. “That’s new. She requirements two arms to consume her early morning medicine. I experienced to feed her the very last 50 % of her meal last evening. Most days she won’t permit me feed her and would fairly take in much less than allow me support. I invest my days serving to, she spends her days fighting. …
“Every couple days we have to mourn a thing else she applied to do so effortlessly,” Burstein writes. “And still we have hope. She is sturdy, but browsing for answers as she sees her physique failing her. And nonetheless she has hope. I never know what to feel. I’ve constantly been the additional pragmatic one. She has normally been so certain. I can not deny her hope. I have some, also. But I have to hold getting ready for the worst. And I dislike that I am getting ready for the worst. But we are hoping our hopes come correct.”
Luker attended the University of Montevallo, earning her diploma in 1984, just before which she took a crack to join the Michigan Opera Theater where she met a New York agent that would direct her to a Broadway occupation just 5 decades later starting with “The Phantom of the Opera.” Her other Broadway credits include “The Secret Garden” (1991-1993), “The Sound of Music” (1998-1999), “Nine” (2003), “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (2013-2014) and “Fun Home” (2016).
The theater environment mourned Luker’s passing on Twitter Wednesday afternoon: