Broadway star Rebecca Luker, a three-time Tony nominee known for her work in revivals of Golden Age musicals, died on December 23, according to the New York Times. She was 59. Luker had ALS, she announced this past February, and died at a hospital in New York City, where she lived with her husband, the actor Danny Burstein. In 1988, Luker made her Broadway debut as an alternate for Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, a role she eventually took over the following year. She left in 1991 to originate the role of Lily in the Secret Garden musical, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. By 1995, she received her first Tony nomination for a revival of Show Boat; in the musical’s long Broadway history, she was the only actor nominated for a Tony for the role of Magnolia Hawks.
Luker received subsequent Tony nominations for the role of Marian Paroo in a 2000 revival of The Music Man and Mrs. Banks in the original cast of the Mary Poppins musical, which she starred in from 2006–10. She was most known for playing ingénue roles, including her turn as Maria in the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music. Luker largely played stage roles but also guested on TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, and Boardwalk Empire. Her final Broadway role was as a replacement in Fun Home in the role of mother Helen Bechdel. She took the stage for the final time in a 2019 Kennedy Center production of Footloose, as preacher’s wife Vi Moore.