Tony-nominated Broadway star Rebecca Luker dies at 59


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Soprano Rebecca Luker, a three-time Tony nominated actor who starred in a few of the largest Broadway hits of the previous three many years, died Wednesday. She was 59

Her dying was introduced by her husband, veteran Broadway actor Danny Burstein, who stated in a press release “our household is devastated. I’ve no phrases at this second as a result of I’m numb.” Luker went public in 2020 saying she had been recognized with Lou Gehrig’s illness, additionally known as ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Luker was a finest actress Tony nominee in 1995 taking part in Magnolia in “Showboat,” a finest actress nominee in 2000 for taking part in Marian in “The Music Man” reverse Craig Bierko, and a finest featured actress nominee in 2007 as Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.”

Tributes flooded social media, together with from Broadway stars like Laura Benanti, who known as Luker “humble, loving and type” with a “golden voice” that may “wrap you in peace.” Seth Rudetsky stated it was “an ideal loss for Broadway and the world.” Kristin Chenoweth tweeted that Luker was “one of many fundamental causes I needed to be a soprano” and Bernadette Peters known as her ”some of the stunning voices on Broadway and a stunning particular person.”

Luker was recognized for staying with exhibits for prolonged runs. “Sure, I’m the queen of lengthy runs,” she informed the Connecticut Publish in 2011. “I don’t know if I’m fortunate or if it’s a curse. Nevertheless it’s simply how issues have occurred for me and it’s principally factor.”

In 2013 she appeared in an off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Ardour.” Along with many stage credit, Luker appeared on TV in “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Good Spouse” and within the 2012 movie “Not Fade Away.” Her different off-Broadway credit embrace “Dying Takes a Vacation,” “Indian Blood” and “The Vagina Monologues.”

Broadway stars Stephanie J. Block known as Luker an “angel-faced and angel-spirited” and LaChanze took to Twitter to name Luker’s dying “an enormous loss for the American theater.” Tony-winner Michael Cerveris stated: “There was no yet another humble, extra unexpectedly humorous or extra wonderful when she sang.”

Luker and her husband starred in an episode of “Legislation & Order: Particular Victims Unit,” during which they performed the dad and mom of a transgender teenager killed in an accident after being bullied.

Luker was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and obtained a bachelor’s in music from the College of Montevallo, the place she later was awarded an honorary doctorate.

Luker made her Broadway debut in 1988 in “The Phantom of the Opera” first as an understudy to Sarah Brightman after which taking part in Christine reverse the legendary Michael Crawford. “I’ll always remember it. It was an out-of-body expertise. He was so type, although, and I’ll always remember that,” she informed Playbill in 2016.

She had Broadway roles within the “The Sound of Music” and because the unique Lily in “The Secret Backyard.” She was a substitute in “9” in 2003 reverse Antonio Banderas, “Enjoyable House” in 2016 and in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2013-14.

Her albums embrace “Greenwich Time,” “Leaving House,” “Something Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter” and “I Received Love: Songs of Jerome Kern,” that includes 14 classics starting from “Invoice/Can’t Assist Loving That Man” to “My Husband’s First Spouse.” She additionally paid tribute to the legendary Barbara Cook dinner on the 2011 Kennedy Heart Honors.

Her ultimate stage position was taking part in a small-town minister’s narrow-minded spouse in a 2019 Kennedy Heart manufacturing of “Footloose.” Her final efficiency was in June in a Zoom profit efficiency, “At House With Rebecca Luker.”

Along with her husband, Luker is survived by two stepsons, Alex and Zach.


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