Cast members Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack took to social media to share fond memories of Morrison, who was best known for playing maid Rosario Salazar during the NBC sitcom’s original run from 1999 to 2006.
Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief illness. Her husband of 46 years, Walter Dominguez, said in a statement that her “greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for LGBTQ people.” He noted that she “took pride in portraying a strong, loving yet feisty Latina character.”
The role of Rosario was originally written for a single episode. However, Morrison’s feisty interactions with Mullally’s character, Karen Walker, proved to be a success, and she ultimately appeared in 68 episodes. Morrison retired from acting before the reunion series premiered in 2017.
“Rosario is one of my all-time favorite characters,” the actress said prior to 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.”
Morrison also famously starred alongside Sally Field on The Flying Nun. Additionally, she had movie roles alongside A-listers including Dean Martin in How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl and Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry in Fools Rush In.
Scroll down to read the Will & Grace cast’s tributes to their late costar.