Rest in Peace, Rebecca Luker: Broadway Star Dies at 59 After Battle with ALS

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Celebrated Broadway actress and singer Rebecca Luker has passed away after a battle with ALS, it was reported by numerous outlets on Wednesday.

Luker, whose work in revivals of Show BoatThe Music Man and Mary Poppins earned her Tony nominations in recent years, was 59 years old. The New York Times reported that she passed away in a hospital in Manhattan, eight months after she went public in February 2020 regarding her ALS diagnosis.

Playbill, the monthly newsletter/website dedicated to all things theatre, eulogized Luker with a lengthy obituary post on its website. Luker made her Broadway debut in 1998 as a member of the original Phantom of the Opera cast, and before long she was commanding key roles of her own.

Just this past June, she took part in At Home with Rebecca Luker: An Evening of Song, a live stream event that featured a conversation with Katie Couric:

Per Playbill:

In 1991, Ms. Luker had the chance to create her first role on Broadway, playing Lily (the late aunt to 10-year-old Mary Lennox), who appears as a ghost throughout the Tony-nominated musical The Secret Garden. Ms. Luker’s soaring, ethereal rendition of “Come to My Garden” was one of the most memorable moments in the acclaimed production, which also featured Tony winners Mandy Patinkin and Daisy Eagan as well as Tony nominee Alison Fraser. That staging also earned Ms. Luker her first Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.

Famed Broadway director-producer Harold Prince subsequently cast Ms. Luker in his 1994 revival of Show Boat, which went on to win the 1995 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Ms. Luker also received her first Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her work as Magnolia opposite the Gaylord Ravenal of Mark Jacoby. The cast also boasted Elaine StritchJohn McMartin, Michel Bell, Joel Blum, and Gretha Boston.

May Rebecca Luker rest in peace.

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