Broadway actress Doreen Montalvo, who will appear in the upcoming film adaptations of the musicals “In the Heights” and “West Side Story”, has died, her agent Michael Rodriguez confirmed to USA TODAY. She was 56.
Montalvo appeared on the original Broadway line-up of “In the Heights” in 2008, and later joined “On Your Feet!”, Gloria’s music jukebox and Emilio Estefan. For the past 14 years, she has also appeared on television shows, including “Mrs. Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Breakup,” and “Law and Order.”
She is credited with small roles in the film versions of “In the Heights” and “West Side Story”, both of which were originally scheduled to debut this year before cinemas were shut down due to the 2021 coronavirus pandemic.
Lynn-Manuel Miranda, who created and starred in “In the Heights” before continuing to build the musical juggling “Hamilton,” recalled in a series of tweets that Montalvo was the first audition he saw when he worked on “Heights.” which will continue to win four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
“It’s monstrously unfair that we didn’t get more time with her,” Miranda wrote. “More shows with her. More music with her. More life with her. When someone brings so much joy and love to everyone they meet, so much devotion to the craft they love … it’s unfair. And heartbreaking.”
“In the Heights” film director John M. Chu writes that Montalvo “is a force of love that penetrates every inch” of the film. “When she sings to Nina in Breathe or as the voice in Simpre, her imprint in the movie and the family ‘In the Heights’ will live on forever. Thank you, Doreen. They’re loved so much.”
“I just don’t have all my words yet, that’s too much,” tweeted Hamilton actor Javier Munoz, who appeared with Montalvo in In the Heights. “But I love you, Doreen. Always.”
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