Rebecca Luker, Tony-Nominated ‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘Music Man’ Star, Dies at 59
Rebecca Luker, the Broadway actress who received Tony nominations for "Mary Poppins," "The Music Man," and "Show Boat," died in Manhattan on Wednesday, her agent told the New York Times. She was 59 years old.
She was diagnosed with ALS late last year.
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Luker graced both the stage and screen, though she was best known for her memorable Broadway roles.
She began her three decades long Broadway career as an understudy for Christine Daaé in "The Phantom of the Opera" from 1988 to 1991. In the 1990s she played roles in "The Secret Garden", "Show Boat". and "The Sound of Music".
Luker received her first of three Tony nominations in 1995 for portraying Magnolia on Show Boat. Her later work in "The Music Man" (2000) and "Mary Poppins" (2007) eventually led to her second and third nods.
Luker continued to appear on Broadway through the 2000s, but also took on film and television roles. Beginning with her appearance in the television movie "Cupid & Cate" from 2000, the actress appeared in "The Good Wife", "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "NCIS: New Orleans". She played Michele Downey in "Bull" in her final role as actress that year.
The star made her last stage appearance in Kennedy Center's 2019 production of "Footloose," in which she played the narrow-minded wife of a small town minister. At this point she was also seen in three feature films, including 2014 in "The Rewrite".
In June Luker hosted a virtual benefit for ALS called “At Home with Rebecca Luker”. She sang during the recorded concert and raised money and awareness for the disease.
Luker is survived by her husband, actor Danny Burstein; Brother Roger; Sister Suzanne; Mother Martha Hales; and stepfather Lamar Hales.
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