Tony nominated Broadway actress Rebecca Luker has passed away today at age 59 after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
- Rebecca Luker, who has performed on Broadway in musicals like Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Nine, The Music Man, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and The Secret Garden and more, passed away today at the age of 59. Earlier this year, the actress announced that she had been diagnosed with ALS, and eventually succumbed to her illness.
- The actress was nominated for three Tony awards during her career, for best actress in 1995 playing Magnolia in Showboat, again in 2000 for playing Marian in The Music Man, and a best featured actress nominee in 2007 as the originator of the role of Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins.
- Her death was announced by her husband, Broadway actor Danny Burstein, saying "our family is devastated. I have no words at this moment because I'm numb.”
- An outpouring of support has come from numerous other Broadway personalities via social media including Kristin Chenoweth, who said Luker was one of the reasons she wanted to be a Soprano.
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
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) December 23, 2020
Rebecca Luker was one of the most beautiful voices on Broadway and a lovely person ,,We are all devastated for Danny and for ourselves,,we will never get to witness her talents on stage again ????RIP Dear Dear Girl? pic.twitter.com/6qSKhEZZ2c
— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) December 23, 2020
- Luker’s final stage role was playing the small-town minister’s narrow-minded wife in a 2019 Kennedy Center production of Footloose, though her last public performance was in June in a Zoom benefit performance, At Home With Rebecca Luker.
- In addition to her husband, Luker is survived by two stepsons, Alex and Zach.