December 24, 2020
The popular and acclaimed Broadway musical actress and singer Rebecca Luker passed away on Wednesday following an illness in New York at the age of 59.
Rebecca Luker, who enjoyed an acclaimed career spanning three decades on stage and television, died after an almost yearlong battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as A.L.S.
The three-time Tony Award nominee died while in a hospital in Manhattan, and she made a name for herself on Broadway in musicals such as "The Sound of Music," and "The Music Man." She was 59.
Her agent, Sarah Fargo, confirmed Luker's death, and it came almost a year after she first announced her A.L.S. diagnosis publically in February 2020.
With acting talent only rivaled by her crystal-clear operatic voice, Luker became the embodiment of Broadway musicals during her career, including her role in the hit "Show Boat" revival.
A VARIED CAREER
The Birmingham native made her debut on Broadway with a massive role in 1988, when she replaced Sarah Brightman in the lead role as Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera."
The first of her three Tony Award nominations came in 1994 for her role as Magnolia in "Show Boat." The second nomination followed in 2000 for "The Music Man," and the third, for "Mary Poppins" in 2007.
Luker shined on television in series such as "Law & Order: SVU," "The Good Wife," "NCIS: New Orleans," "Boardwalk Empire," and in the movie "Not Fade Away" in 2012 as well.
While Luker leaves behind her husband, Danny Burstein, and her two stepsons Alexander and Zachary, she is not the only actress of her caliber to have recently passed away.
BROADWAY ALSO OTHERS
Two months ago, the television, film, and Broadway actress, Doreen Montalvo, passed away aged 56 following a sudden illness. Like Luker, Montalvo also starred in series such as "The Good Wife."
However, Montalvo made a name for herself in productions including "West Side Story," "Mrs. Doubtfire," which premiered in March, and "In The Heights," filmed last year.
Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, best-known as Roxie Hart in 1977's "Chicago," suddenly died on December 12 at the age of 71, following a career as actress and dancer that lasted decades.
Reinking's career started with a Seattle Opera House production of "Bye Bye Birdie" in 1965, and she ended up getting cast in the production of "Cabaret" only four years later.