Doreen Montalvo, Broadway and 'In the Heights' Star, Dead at 56
By Rachel McRady
Robin Marchant/Getty Images
Broadway and film and television actress Doreen Montalvo died on Saturday at the age of 56 following a sudden ailment. Her manager, Steve Maihack, confirmed the news on Instagram in a statement.
"It’s been my honor and extreme pleasure to have worked with Doreen, as her manager... This last year had been such an exciting one for Doreen with the filming of both the IN THE HEIGHTS and WEST SIDE STORY feature films, as well as her return to Broadway in MRS DOUBTFIRE," he wrote. "She was also making strides in the tv world- which she was a natural at. Doreen could do anything. She was like a winning lotto ticket. She was all of ours winning lotto ticket. We will continue to carry her, telling her story and remembering the talent and love she shared with us all. Most importantly the LOVE, as long as there is love."
Maihack also shared a video of Montalvo singing. "It's been two weeks in which all who love Doreen Montalvo Mann have had the utmost patience and faith, that she would return to us," he captioned the post. "We are devastated to hear she has left us today."
Montalvo appeared in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights, and had a small role in the upcoming film adaptation. She also appears in the upcoming Steven Spielberg adaptation of West Side Story, and has made appearances on The Good Wife, Smash, Elementary, and Madam Secretary.
She most recently performed in the Broadway production of Mrs. Doubtfire, which premiered on March 9 and was delayed just three days later due to the coronavirus pandemic. Broadway has been shut down ever since.
In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda took to Twitter over the weekend to mourn the loss of his friend and collaborator.
"Doreen Montalvo was the first actress to audition for In The Heights in the basement of the Drama Book Shop in 2002. The first one," he wrote. "She sang La Lupe's Qué Te Pedi and embedded herself in my heart in an instant. Her voice was had that tear in it--that lágrima. Inimitable & hers."
Doreen Montalvo was the first actress to audition for In The Heights in the basement of the Drama Book Shop in 2002. The first one. She sang La Lupe's Qué Te Pedi and embedded herself in my heart in an instant. Her voice was had that tear in it--that lágrima. Inimitable & hers. pic.twitter.com/hLwT34XQ5w
The Broadway star and writer went on to share how he kept Montalvo in the show despite cutting her original role.
"She played Benny's mom Alma that first year. We cut the role. So she played Camila, then Daniela, then Abuela, and by 2007 she was so invaluable to us that she covered all those roles both Off and On Broadway, in addition to her onstage role, who @quiarahudes named 'Cuca,'" he continued.
It is monstrously unfair that we did not get more time with her. More shows with her. More music with her. More life with her. When someone brings that much joy and love to everyone they meet, that much commitment to the craft they love... it's unfair. And heartbreaking.
Miranda also opened up about playing a role in Montalvo's wedding to actor Michael Mann, writing, "In 2010 she happily became Doreen Montalvo Mann--I DJ'd the wedding. She and Michael held it around the corner from the theater and every incarnation of our cast was there. Michael was the light of her life and everyone who knows Doreen is holding him in their prayers."
In 2010 she happily became Doreen Montalvo Mann--I DJ'd the wedding. She and Michael held it around the corner from the theater and every incarnation of our cast was there. Michael was the light of her life and everyone who knows Doreen is holding him in their prayers.
The Hamilton scribe went on to note that "Doreen is all over the In the Heights movie," sharing the lyrics the late actress sings on the upcoming adaptation. The film was originally scheduled to be released this past summer, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been pushed to a June 2021 release.
A small consolation: Doreen is all over the In The Heights movie. We'll see her sing "Mira, Nina, no me preocupo por ella..." We'll hear her sing "No te vayas Si me dejas Si te alejas de mi Seguiras en mis recuerdos para siempre...para siempre..." pic.twitter.com/RYq5lMbkFo
RIP Doreen Montalvo. The best dressing roommate and richest heart on Broadway. Our hearts are dim and my condolences are sent to her family and my theatre family. 2020 is such a tough year. 📸: In The Heights Closing Night Jan 12, 2011. D is on the far right. pic.twitter.com/NxDBCQ6f7m
Doreen was a force of love that seeped into every inch of IN THE HEIGHTS. When she sings to Nina in Breathe, or as the voice in "Siempre" her imprint on the movie and the In The Heights family will live forever. Thank u Doreen. U are loved by so many❤️😔https://t.co/m8BHvYPQuQ
The Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical family mourns the loss of Doreen Montalvo. Doreen’s immense talent was matched by her extraordinary kindness and remarkable generosity. Her light shown brightly onstage and off. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/5c57SV5rEX
Still shocked at #DoreenMontalvo passing. Seems like yesterday we were having the time of our lives in the ensemble of In The Heights. Her loving embrace for everyone and her joy.. I’ll never forget. 💔
Doreen was warm & grew more radiant with time. Her voice was rich & luscious with a hint of romance/sadness, but she was also funny & light & made In the Heights feel so fun backstage & onstage. She lived a life of true purpose, a life she loved. (photo @NelsonCoates) pic.twitter.com/wG8I5ofHpa