Gospel singer and actress Della Reese, famously known for her role in “Touched By an Angel,” died Sunday.
Reese’s “Touched by an Angel” costar, Roma Downey, said the actress passed away peacefully in her Los Angeles home Sunday evening.
Reese, 86, started her singing career in Detroit, by joining the junior gospel choir in the Olivet Baptist Church as a young girl.
Reese’s representative, Lynda Bensky, said in a statement to CBS News, “The world has lost a huge talent. A successful actor, singer, writer and more for decades. She was also a trailblazer … Her cup was never half empty … and it wasn’t half full … it was overflowing with goodness and love for everyone. She was the most consistently positive and optimistic person I have known.”
The “Touched By an Angel” television drama series started in 1994 and lasted until 2003.
Downey wrote in an Instagram post, “Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people. She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on ‘Touched By An Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day.” (Scroll down to see Instagram posts from Downey with photos.)
Reese’s husband, Franklin Lett, and three children survive her.
Della Reese, music legend and “Touched By an Angel” star, is dead at 86, her family confirms. pic.twitter.com/ccIAqClbpm
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 20, 2017
TMZ posted the following video, stating it was the last time they interviewed her. The reporter asked Reese if she believed in angels, and she answered, “Absolutely, absolutely.”
In loving memory of the great Della Reese. In honor of Della, I have posted one of my favorite scenes from Touched by an Angel where Tess sings and comforts Monica at sunset. I remember filming this scene and Della taking me into the warmth of her embrace. To be in her arms was to feel love. I know Della has gone home to the peace of Heaven, but I’m going to miss her. To enjoy this beautiful video please click on the link in my bio. God speed, dearest Della. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Heaven has a brand new angel Della today 🕊🕊🕊On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love. She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people. She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched By An Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you. 🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊