Tony-nominated Broadway star Rebecca Luker dies at 59

LOS ANGELES — Soprano Rebecca Luker, a three-time Tony nominated actor who starred in some of the biggest Broadway hits of the earlier a few decades, died Wednesday. She was 59.

Her dying was introduced by her husband, veteran Broadway actor Danny Burstein, who stated in a statement “our loved ones is devastated. I have no words and phrases at this second for the reason that I am numb.” Luker went general public in 2020 saying she had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also referred to as ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Luker was a finest actress Tony nominee in 1995 playing Magnolia in “Showboat,” a greatest actress nominee in 2000 for playing Marian in “The Songs Man” opposite Craig Bierko, and a ideal highlighted actress nominee in 2007 as Winifred Banking companies in “Mary Poppins.”

Tributes flooded social media, such as from Broadway stars like Laura Benanti, who referred to as Luker “humble, loving and kind” with a “golden voice” that would “wrap you in peace.” Seth Rudetsky stated it was “a good loss for Broadway and the world.” Kristin Chenoweth tweeted that Luker was “one of the principal motives I desired to be a soprano” and Bernadette Peters termed her ”one of the most gorgeous voices on Broadway and a attractive individual.”

Luker was recognized for remaining with demonstrates for prolonged runs. “Yes, I’m the queen of lengthy operates,” she instructed the Connecticut Publish in 2011. “I really do not know if I’m lucky or if it’s a curse. But it’s just how factors have happened for me and it is largely a very good thing.”

In 2013 she appeared in an off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion.” In addition to a lot of phase credits, Luker appeared on Tv set in “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Very good Wife” and in the 2012 film “Not Fade Absent.” Her other off-Broadway credits involve “Death Usually takes a Getaway,” “Indian Blood” and “The Vagina Monologues.”

Broadway stars Stephanie J. Block identified as Luker an “angel-confronted and angel-spirited” and LaChanze took to Twitter to phone Luker’s loss of life “a enormous reduction for the American theater.” Tony-winner Michael Cerveris stated: “There was no just one much more humble, more unexpectedly humorous or a lot more glorious when she sang.”

Luker and her husband starred in an episode of “Law & Get: Particular Victims Unit,” in which they performed the mom and dad of a transgender youngster killed in an incident after currently being bullied.

Luker was born and elevated in Birmingham, Alabama, and been given a bachelor’s in songs from the College of Montevallo, the place she later was awarded an honorary doctorate.

Luker manufactured her Broadway debut in 1988 in “The Phantom of the Opera” initially as an understudy to Sarah Brightman and then taking part in Christine reverse the legendary Michael Crawford. “I’ll by no means fail to remember it. It was an out-of-system working experience. He was so variety, although, and I’ll in no way ignore that,” she informed Playbill in 2016.

She experienced Broadway roles in the “The Sound of Music” and as the primary Lily in “The Solution Backyard garden.” She was a alternative in “Nine” in 2003 opposite Antonio Banderas, “Fun Home” in 2016 and in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2013-14.

Her albums consist of “Greenwich Time,” “Leaving House,” “Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter” and “I Obtained Adore: Songs of Jerome Kern,” showcasing 14 classics ranging from “Bill/Just cannot Enable Loving That Man” to “My Husband’s 1st Wife.” She also paid out tribute to the legendary Barbara Prepare dinner at the 2011 Kennedy Centre Honors.

Her last phase job was participating in a compact-town minister’s slim-minded wife in a 2019 Kennedy Center manufacturing of “Footloose.” Her past efficiency was in June in a Zoom profit efficiency, “At Residence With Rebecca Luker.”

In addition to her husband, Luker is survived by two stepsons, Alex and Zach.


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