On Saturday, Broadway and television actress Doreen Montalvo died at the age of 56.
She was “surrounded by her husband Michael Mann and her family after a recent sudden ailment,” according to what her manager told E! News.
Montalvo was best known for her stage and television roles, including Broadway’s “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “In The Heights,” “Flash Dance The Musical” and “On Your Feet,” as well as the television shows “Elementary,” “Law & Order,” “The Good Wife” and “Madame Secretary.”
Her manager, Steve Maihack, confirmed her passing in a post on Instagram on Saturday. The image he posted revealed the actress had a short decline during which friends and family hoped she would pull through.
The exact cause of death has not been shared at the time of writing.
“We are devastated to hear she has left us today,” the text on the shared image reads. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to her husband Mike Mann and their family during this time.”
“Love and light to all her friends, colleagues and fans … my heart aches for us all.”
In the caption, Maihack detailed fond memories of working with Montalvo, highlighting her ability to excel at anything she put her mind to.
“It’s been my honor and extreme pleasure to have worked with Doreen, as her manager,” Maihack posted on Saturday. “From the minute we met it was like we had been friends for years.”
“Kindred spirits, for sure. My favorite memory will be watching you as Gloria Fajardo in the OYF tour at the open-air outside KC Starlight theater … belting out ‘Mi Tierra’ to an audience of 8000, with the sun literally setting as if God himself was directing the most PERFECT moment for us all. It was thrilling.”
“This last year had been such an exciting one for Doreen with the filming of both the IN THE HEIGHTS and WEST SIDE STORY feature films, as well as her return to Broadway in MRS DOUBTFIRE. She was also making strides in the tv world – which she was a natural at.”
“Doreen could do anything. She was like a winning lotto ticket.”
“Doreen didn’t just light up the stage, she brightened the light in all of those around her,” the actress’ manager said to E! News. “She infused love into every role she played in a varied and successful acting career. Her family is so appreciative to know her work will live on and be seen in the upcoming films of In The Heights and West Side Story, and for the outpouring of love from every corner of the business.”
Others who worked with her over the years have been expressing their grief as well. Jon M. Chu, who directed “In The Heights,” tweeted about the woman being a “force of love.”
Doreen was a force of love that seeped into every inch of IN THE HEIGHTS. When she sings to Nina in Breathe, or as the voice in “Siempre” her imprint on the movie and the In The Heights family will live forever. Thank u Doreen. U are loved by so many❤️😔https://t.co/m8BHvYPQuQ
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) October 18, 2020
“Doreen was a force of love that seeped into every inch of IN THE HEIGHTS,” he wrote. “When she sings to Nina in Breathe, or as the voice in ‘Siempre’ her imprint on the movie and the In The Heights family will live forever. Thank u Doreen. U are loved by so many.”
“It is monstrously unfair that we did not get more time with her,” lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda shared on Twitter. “More shows with her. More music with her. More life with her. When someone brings that much joy and love to everyone they meet, that much commitment to the craft they love … it’s unfair. And heartbreaking.”
A small consolation: Doreen is all over the In The Heights movie.
We’ll see her sing “Mira, Nina, no me preocupo por ella…”
We’ll hear her sing
“No te vayas
Si me dejas
Si te alejas de mi
Seguiras en mis recuerdos para siempre…para siempre…” pic.twitter.com/RYq5lMbkFo
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 18, 2020
Montalvo’s most recent venture before things started shutting down earlier this year was in “Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical” on Broadway. A tweet from the show’s account praised her talent and heart.
The Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical family mourns the loss of Doreen Montalvo. Doreen’s immense talent was matched by her extraordinary kindness and remarkable generosity. Her light shown brightly onstage and off. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/5c57SV5rEX
— Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical (@DoubtfireBway) October 17, 2020
“The Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical family mourns the loss of Doreen Montalvo,” the Twitter account shared on Saturday evening. “Doreen’s immense talent was matched by her extraordinary kindness and remarkable generosity. Her light shown brightly onstage and off.”
“She was beloved by the entire company and by every person who was lucky enough to call her a colleague or friend. Our hearts are with her husband Mike and all of her family and friends.”
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