Shelley Morrison (1936-2019)

Shelley Morrison (1936-2019)

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First Published: October 2003
Editor's Note:
We are saddened to report that our "Working Actor Extraordinaire", Shelley Morrison died on Sunday, December 1 2019, of heart failure after a brief illness, her publicist told AP. The actress' character, who worked as a no-nonsense maid for Megan Mullally's character, Karen Walker, was originally only supposed to appear on one episode of "Will & Grace", but Rosario was such a hit with viewers that the show kept her on for a whopping 68 episodes airing from 1999 until 2006. Her career spanned from the early sixties and included many wonderful roles including the mischievous Nun, Sister Sixto in "The Flying Nun" with Sally Field.   ~ May this wonderful Working Actor and fervent activist RIP!
Shelley Morrison | Working Actor

Shelley Morrison | Working Actor

Shelley Morrison | "Adventures In Paradise" (1958-1962)
Shelley Morrison | "Dr. Kildare" (1961)
Shelley Morrison | "My Favorite Martian" (1963)
Shelley Morrison with Joseph Campanella | "The Fugitive" (1963)
Shelley Morrison |  "Laredo" (1965)
Shelley Morrison | "Castle Of Evil" (1966)
Shelley Morrison | "Gunsmoke" (1966)
Shelley Morrison with Scott Brady David Brian, Lisa Gaye, Hugh Marlowe, Virginia Mayo | "Castle of Evil" (1966)
Shelley Morrison | "The Flying Nun" (1967)
Shelley Morrison, Sally Field, Linda Dangcil | "The Flying Nun" (1967)
Shelley Morrison, Sally Field, Alejandro Rey, Madeleine Sherwood. Marge Redmond | "The Flying Nun" (1967)
Shelley Morrison | "The Interns" (1970)
Shelley Morrison | "The Night That Panicked America" (1975)
Shelley Morrison | "Rabbit Test" (1978)
Shelley Morrison, Rosanna Arquette, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Leigh Allyn Baker | "Will and Grace" (1998)
Shelley Morrison, Megan Mullally, Sean Heyes | "Will and Grace" (1998)
Shelley Morrison w/Shelley Long and Ami Foster | "Troop Beverly Hills" (1989)
Shelley Morrison | Working Actor

After more than fifty years in show business, actress Shelley Morrison, who played the wisecracking Rosario on the hit NBC series "Will and Grace," has more than her share of stories. This veteran of the big and small screen has also augmented her professional life with ties to her family and community that have made her a compelling person as well as a skilled performer.

Born in the South Bronx, Morrison (then Rachel Dominguez), a Sephardic Jew of Spanish descent, moved with her family to Los Angeles as a child, and still lives in the apartment building that her father owned and managed six decades ago. The young Morrison worked consistently in film and television in the 1960s, playing the memorable Sister Sixto on the series "The Flying Nun" and appearing alongside the late Gregory Peck in the western "MacKenna's Gold."

After putting her career on the back burner to marry Walter Dominguez (the two celebrate their 30th anniversary this year), Morrison made a comeback after the age of 50, highly unlikely for a future grandmother who likes to knit in her spare time. A series of guest-starring roles on a number of series in the 80s and 90s eventually lead to her landing the role of Rosario, which has earned her Emmy and SAG Awards (for Outstanding Ensemble) and numerous other nominations, including an ALMA Nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Morrison, now retired from acting,  practices the spiritual tradition of the Lakota Sioux, is a tireless worker for charity (L.A. Shanti, one of the city's oldest charities for AIDS victims; and A.N.G.E.L.S Day, to help senior citizens and their animal companions), and takes pride in portraying an older, Hispanic woman who is tough, smart and can hold her own. Recently, she and a number of other "celebrity knitters" including Elizabeth Taylor and "Will and Grace" co-star Debra Messing, knitted original blankets for a sale to benefit the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. Morrison even received a commendation from the city for her effort to preserve her neighborhood during the 1992 riots that destroyed a shopping mall just behind her home. She has also survived two bouts with cancer, and retains a spirit of peace and optimism that is as infectious as her winning smile.

Shelley Morrison's advice to the aspiring actor:

Remember always that it's about the work itself, not celebrity. Be the best actor you can be; study hard, develop your craft. Network with other actors, writers, and directors to be on the lookout for good material and opportunities. Go to independent film festivals, meet filmmakers. Keep learning and honing your craft. If acting is your real passion, you won't give up."


Don Gerler
Don Gerler Agency
3349 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Suite 1
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 850-7386

CESD Talent (On-Camera Commercials, Voice-Overs, TV & Feature, Animation & Feature Narration
10635 Santa Monica Blvd.
Suite 130
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 475-2111

London & Co. LLP
2800 Olympic Blvd.
2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tel: (310) 478-5151
Attn: Mary Hilton

Lori De Waal
De Waal & Associates
14724 Ventura Blvd, Suite 507
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
818-817-4587 Fax
Twitter: @dewaalpr

Shelley Morrison's Credits (partial)
  • Foodfight! (2012) - playing Lola Frutola (voice) 2012
  • "Handy Manny" (2012) (TV Series) - playing Mrs. Portillo 2006-2012
  • "Generator Rex" (2011) (TV Series) - playing Abuela 2011
  • "My Name Is Earl" (2006) (TV Series) - playing Maria 2006
  • "Will & Grace" (1998) (TV Series) - playing Rosario Salazar McFarland 1999-2006
  • Fools Rush In (1997) - playing Aunt Carmen
  • Cries from the Heart (1994) (TV)
  • Columbo: It's All In the Game (1993) (TV) - playing Nick's Maid
  • Love, Lies, and Murder (1991) (TV) - playing Yolanda Brown
  • Troop Beverly Hills (1989) - playing Rosa
  • Kids Don't Tell (1985) (TV) - playing Carol
  • Max Dugan Returns (1983) - playing Mother
  • "General Hospital" (1963) TV Series - playing Mrs. Ramirez (1982)
  • "Once an Eagle" (1976) (mini) TV Series
  • Conspiracy of Terror (1975) (TV) - playing Mrs. Kojovs
  • The Night That Panicked America (1975) (TV) - playing Toni
  • Devil Times Five (1974) - playing Ruth
  • The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped (1974) (TV) - playing Louise
  • Blume in Love (1973) - playing Mrs. Greco
  • Lassie: A New Beginning (1973) (TV) - playing Lena
  • Breezy (1973) - playing Nancy Henderson
  • Stand Up and Be Counted (1972) (uncredited) - playing Bit Part
  • Man and Boy (1972) - playing Rosita
  • Three's a Crowd (1969) (TV) - playing Mona
  • Mackenna's Gold (1969) - playing Pima squaw
  • Three Guns for Texas (1968) - playing Linda Little Trees
  • How to Save a Marriage (And Ruin Your Life) (1968) - playing Marcia Borie
  • The Flying Nun (1967) TV Series - playing Sister Sixto (1967-1970)
  • Divorce American Style (1967) - playing Jackie
  • Castle of Evil (1966) - playing Lupe Tekal d'Esperanza
  • My Favorite Martian (1966) - playing Little Feather / Narita
  • Gunsmoke (1966) - Addie Moonercan
  • The Fugitive (1965) - playing Ginny Stransel
  • The Farmer's Daughter (1965) - playing Molly
  • Dr. Kildare (1965) - playing Mrs. Ruiz / Mrs. Martinez
  • The Outer Limits (1963) - playing Woman
  • General Hospital (1962) - playing Mrs. Ramirez
  • The Interns (1962) - Party Girl
  • Target: The Corruptors (1962) - playing Mrs. Gomez
  • Adventures in Paradise (1961) - playing Mother
  • "2001 ALMA Awards" (2001) (TV) - playing Presenter
  • "Prey" (1998) - playing "Blanca"
  • "Nothing Sacred" (1997/I) in episode: "Parents and Children"
  • "Home Improvement" (1991) - playing "Gail"
  • "Live Shot" (1995) - playing "Rosa Sandoval"
  • "L.A. Law" (1986) - playing "Mrs. Escala"
  • "Sisters" (1991) - playing "Juanita"
  • "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) - playing "Maria"
  • "Sisters" (1991) in episode: "Good Help Is Hard to Find"
  • "The Fanelli Boys" (1990) - playing "Mrs. Goldblume"
  • "1st & Ten" (1984) - playing "Mama Voytok"
  • "Soap" (1977) - playing "The Maid"
  • "The Rookies" (1972)
  • "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1969)
  • "The Partridge Family " (1970)
  • "Gunsmoke"
  • "My Favorite Martian" (1963) - playing "Narita"
  • "Laredo" (1965) - mulyiple episodes
  • "The Fugitive" (1963) - playing "Ginny"
  • "Dr. Kildare" (1961) - playing "Mrs. Ruiz"
  • "The Mikado"
  • "Time Out for Ginger"
  • "Romeo & Juliet"
  • "Pal Joey"
  • "Born Yesterday"
  • "Wedding Breakfast"
  • "West Side Story"
  • "Tender Trap"
  • "Illustrious Uncle"
  • "Picnic"
  • "Oh, Men! Oh, Women!"
  • "The World of Sholem Aleichem"
  • "Anastasia"
  • "Come Back Little Sheba"
  • "Cotton Candy"
  • "Juno and the Paycock"
  • "A streetcar Named Desire"
  • "Point of View"
  • "Desk Set"
  • "Confidencial Clerk"
  • "Sweet Bird of Youth"
  • "Pygmalion"
  • "The Odd Couple"
  • "The Crucible"
  • "Bus Stop"
  • "The Parsley Life"
  • "Zoo Story"
  • "The Would-be Gentleman"
  • "Only in America"
  • "Rashomon"
  • "Comedy of Errors"
  • "El Camino Real"
  • "Coney Island of the Mind"
  • "Tiger at the Gates"
  • "Spring's Awakening"
  • "Last of the Aztecs"
  • "The Rose Tatoo"
  • "Hamlet"
  • "Orpheus Decending"
  • "Country Girl"
  • * Nominated for SAG Award: Best Ensamble 4 times. Won once - "Will & Grace"
  • * Nominated for ALMA Award: Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress - "Will & Grace"
  • * Listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of Hispanic Women, Who's Who of American Women.

Also see Shelley Morrison's Home Page

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