Della Reese, Singer and 'Touched by an Angel' Star, Dead at 86

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Musician and Touched by an Angel star Della Reese died on Sunday, at the age of 86.

“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love,” actress Roma Downey confirmed in a statement released to ET. “She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people.”

“She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched by an Angel,” the statement continued. “I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you.”

Reese found fame as a gospel and jazz artist and was well known for her 1959 hit, “Don’t You Know.” As an actress, she also appeared on such TV shows as The Love Boat and  MacGyver. 

She is survived by her husband, Franklin Lett, and children, Deloreese, James, Franklin and Dominique.