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.

Survivors include her husband, Walter Dominguez.

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

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Paul Volcker | Paul A. Volcker, a hard-headed economic statesman who as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987 shocked the U.S. economy out of a cycle of inflation and malaise and so set the stage for a generation of prosperity, died Dec. 8 at his home in Manhattan. He was 92. Read the obituary (James K. W. Atherton/The Washington Post)