Legendary Singer & Touched By An Angel Star Della Reese Dead At 86

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We’ve lost another legend.

Della Reese, jazz singer and actress, died Sunday evening in her California home at 86 years old.

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The iconic performer’s Touched by An Angel costar Roma Downey confirmed the sad news to People, sharing in a statement:

“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 last evening 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.”

Reese’s most memorable acting role was playing “supervising angel” Tess on the CBS series starting in 1994. She retired from acting in 2014 after two appearances on the TV show Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Reese was plagued with health problems throughout her legendary career. In 1979, she suffered a brain aneurysm during a taping of The Tonight Show and later underwent two brain surgeries.

After collapsing on the set of Touched by an Angel in 2002, the performer announced she suffered from type 2 diabetes, which she blamed on poor diet and exercise.

When she passed away, it seems the icon was surrounded by love.

Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and fans.

[Image via Joel Ginsburg/WENN.]

Nov 20, 2017 2:15pm PDT

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