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Veteran Will & Grace actress dies at 83

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In this Nov. 8, 2002, file photo, actress Shelley Morrison arrives to the NBC's television series "Will & Grace," 100th episode celebration at the Falcon restaurant in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) 

Shelley Morrison, an actress with a 50-year career who was best known for playing a memorable maid on Will & Grace, has died age 83.

Publicist Lori DeWaal says Morrison died on Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure.

Morrison played Rosario Salazar, a maid from El Salvador, in the original run of Will & Grace from 1999 to 2006, alongside Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes - a cast that won a Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in a comedy series.

Rosario, who hailed from El Salvador, was written to appear in just one episode of the hit NBC series but her dynamic with Mullally's Karen resonated so well with audiences that the character went on to appear in 68 episodes over eight seasons.

According to co-creator Max Mutchnick, Morrison was asked to reprise her role for the revival of Will & Grace but had decided to retire from acting completely.

Hayes remembered Morrison in an Instagram post: "She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart. She was part of our Will and Grace family and will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to her husband, Walter and her entire family."

Before Will & Grace, Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.

She guest-starred on dozens of television series starting in the early 1960s and appeared in films alongside Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Salma Hayek.

© AP 2019