Broadway star Rebecca Luker died on Wednesday from complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), her agent confirmed to The New York Times. She was 59 years old.
Luker, a three-time Tony-nominated actress who was known for her soprano voice, made her Broadway debut in The Phantom of the Opera in 1988, playing the role of Christine. Her incredible career included parts in The Secret Garden, Show Boat, The Sound of Music and The Music Man. She also appeared in popular television shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, Elementary and CSI: New Orleans.
Luker's Tony nominations included Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Show Boat in 1995, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for The Music Man in 2000, and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Mary Poppins in 2007. She also won two Drama Desk Awards for her roles in The Secret Garden and The Music Man.
Luker is survived by her husband, fellow Broadway star Danny Burstein.
A number of stars paid tribute to Luker on Wednesday, including Kristin Chenoweth, who tweeted a video of Luker singing.
"My friend and one of the main reasons I wanted to be a soprano.... Her voice was soprano heaven," she wrote. "I love you, Rebecca. I know you’re no longer in pain and already singing your heart out up there. 💔"
My friend and one of the main reasons I wanted to be a soprano.... Her voice was soprano heaven. I love you, Rebecca. I know you’re no longer in pain and already singing your heart out up there 💔 pic.twitter.com/bEqoSbcIsS
The Secret Garden was the 3rd Broadway show I ever saw. This is the performance I first saw @RebeccaJLuker in & I have been a fan ever since. She left a huge impact, not only on 16 year old me but also the entire theater community. RIP Rebecca. Love and condolences to Danny. https://t.co/HMjqKi0egc
Rebecca Luker was humble, loving and kind. So much so that you would sometimes forget her otherworldly talent, until she would sing, and her golden voice would wrap you in peace. She was an angel on earth, and now in Heaven. I will always love you, Becca. ✨ pic.twitter.com/yZ9sfunM5L
Heartbreaking news. #RebeccaLuker was our wonderful Mrs Banks in the NYC prod. of @MaryPoppins - a delightful, warm & magical performer with one of the best voices ever to grace Broadway; she has left us far too soon but what glorious memories she leaves behind - RIP dear Rebecca https://t.co/Nr1Gx60HpL
Rebecca Luker has been my hero since I was 12. She’s been my “Fake Mom” since 2016. There was no greater role model on stage and off. I’m heartbroken for our community and of course for my beloved friend and Papa, Danny. 💔 pic.twitter.com/6RzdP9aSh1