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Tony-nominated Broadway star Rebecca Luker dies at 59

Danny Burstein,Rebecca Luker
Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 18:55:50-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Broadway soprano Rebecca Luker has died at 59.

She was a three-time Tony-nominated actor who starred in some of the biggest Broadway hits of the past three decades.

Sarah Fargo, her agent, says Luker died Wednesday.

The actor went public in 2020 saying she had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, known as ALS.

Luker was the best actress Tony nominee in 1995 playing Magnolia in “Showboat,” the best actress nominee in 2000 for playing Marian in “The Music Man” opposite Craig Bierko, and a best-featured actress nominee in 2007 as Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.”

Tributes for Luker flooded in after news broke of her passing away. Actress Kristin Chenoweth tweeted that Luker was “one of the main reasons I wanted to be a soprano.”

"Her voice was soprano heaven," Chenoweth said. "I love you, Rebecca. I know you’re no longer in pain and already singing your heart out up there."

Tony-award winning actress Bernadette Peters called Rebecca ”one of the most beautiful voices on Broadway and a lovely person.”

"Rebecca Luker was one of the most beautiful voices on Broadway and a lovely person," Peters tweeted. "We are all devastated for Danny and for ourselves, we will never get to witness her talents on stage again."

In 1988, Luker made her Broadway debut in “The Phantom of the Opera,” the Associated Press reported.

Luker is survived by her husband, and two stepsons, Alex and Zach.