Shelley Morrison, an actress with a 50-year career who was best known for playing a sassy Salvadoran maid on “Will & Grace,” died Dec. 1 at a hospital in Los Angeles. She was 83.

The cause was a heart ailment, said her publicist, Lori DeWaal.

Ms. Morrison played Rosario Salazar, a maid from El Salvador, in the original run of “Will & Grace” from 1998 to 2006. The character, originally written for a single episode, proved so popular in her interactions with Megan Mullally, who played her boss, that she would appear in 68 episodes during the NBC series’ eight seasons.

“Rosario is one of my all-time favorite characters,” Morrison said recently, according to a statement and biography announcing her death. “She reminds me a lot of my own mother, who loved animals and children, but she would not suffer fools. It is very significant to me that we were able to show an older, Hispanic woman who is bright and smart and can hold her own.”

Before “Will & Grace,” Ms. Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on “The Flying Nun” alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.

She guest-starred on dozens of television series starting in the early 1960s, including “The Fugitive,” “L.A. Law” and “Murder, She Wrote.” Most recently, she voiced a character, Mrs. Portillo, on the Disney animated series “Handy Manny.”

Ms. Morrison was born Rachel Mitrani in the Bronx on Oct. 26, 1936. Her parents were Jewish immigrants from Spain.

As an actress, she played a range of ethnicities in theater, television and film.

Notable deaths in 2019: Elijah Cummings, Cokie Roberts, Toni Morrison and others we have lost this year

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Don Imus | Don Imus, who spent more than half a century in radio and television skating along the edge of propriety and occasionally falling into the abyss of the unacceptable, died Dec. 27 at a hospital in College Station, Tex. He was 79. In a roller-coaster career in which he grew chummy with prominent politicians, repeatedly got suspended or fired for offensive cracks, abused drugs and touted health foods, Mr. Imus won a loyal following, made millions and transformed himself from a bad-boy DJ into a host whose program became a nearly mandatory stop for presidential candidates. Read the obituary (Richard Drew/AP)

Survivors include her husband, Walter Dominguez.