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Obituaries

Danny Burstein Pens Touching Tribute yo Late Wife, Rebecca Luker- 'You Just Knew She was a Special Human Being'

Broadway veteran Rebecca Luker passed away on December 23 at 59 years old after being diagnosed with ALS.

Danny Burstein Pens Touching Tribute yo Late Wife, Rebecca Luker- 'You Just Knew She was a Special Human Being'

Danny Burstein has penned a personal essay in The Hollywood Reporter, reflecting on his 20-plus year marriage with Broadway veteran Rebecca Luker, who passed away this December after being diagnosed with ALS. Rebecca Luker appeared on Broadway numerous times, making her debut in The Phantom of the Opera in 1988.

Read the full essay HERE.

Burstein shared:

"When I described her singing, I used to say, "She opens her mouth and her heart falls out." That's exactly how it felt. I know of no other singer who's had that same effect on me. She had some innate connection to her soul when she sang that made the listener instantly feel the deepest emotions. It made you understand why poets wrote about purity and beauty. It was simply that obvious. That perfect. That special. That connected."

He continued to say:

"When she was dying in the hospital I told her everything I wanted to say to her. Her eyes were halfway closed, pupils were dilated but I held them open and spoke to her intently. I told her that she'd been the most amazing wife, a wonderful mother to our sons, and that she'd left the world a better place because of her music and her beauty. She heard me. I know she did. Her eyes focused directly on me. She tried to respond as tears ran down my face and she did manage to acknowledge what I'd said with a sudden push of breath from the very back of her throat - which must have taken every ounce of strength she had.

"She passed away about an hour and a half later. I wept like a baby, holding her. They asked me if I wanted to close her eyes and I did. She was my wife, I was going to do everything I could for her while they allowed me to stay."

Read the full essay HERE.

Beloved Broadway actress Rebecca Luker passed away from complications from ALS on December 23. She was 59 years old.

Luker made her debut in The Phantom of the Opera in 1988. She received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her role as Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She also received a Tony nomination for her role as Magnolia in Showboat, as well as an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Maria in The Sound of Music, and a Drama Desk Nomination for Lily in The Secret Garden. Her other Broadway roles include Helen in Fun Home, the Fairy Godmother, Marie, in Cinderella, Winifred in Mary Poppins, and Claudia Nardi in Nine. Click here to read her full obituary.


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