Another sad loss in 2020….
Broadway veteran Doreen Montalvo passed away on Saturday of a “sudden ailment,” Playbill.com reported. She was 56 years old.
The actress made her Broadway debut in the ensemble of In The Heights in 2008. She later appeared in On Your Feet! And was set to appear in the new musical Mrs. Doubtfire before the show was shut down due to COVID-19. Montalvo will also be seen in the upcoming film version of In The Heights as well as Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda paid tribute to Montalvo on Twitter. In a touching series of posts, the Hamilton star shared memories and photos of his friend. He wrote:
“Doreen Montalvo was the first actress to audition for In The Heights in the basement of the Drama Book Shop in 2002. The first one. She sang La Lupe’s Qué Te Pedi and embedded herself in my heart in an instant. Her voice [had] that tear in it — that lágrima. Inimitable & hers.
She played Benny’s mom Alma that first year. We cut the role. So she played Camila, then Daniela, then Abuela, and by 2007 she was so invaluable to us that she covered all those roles both Off and On Broadway, in addition to her onstage role, who [co-creator Quiara Alegría Hudes] named ‘Cuca.’”
After citing some of her iconic lines from the show, he continued:
“In 2010 she happily became Doreen Montalvo Mann–I DJ’d the wedding. She and Michael held it around the corner from the theater and every incarnation of our cast was there. Michael was the light of her life and everyone who knows Doreen is holding him in their prayers.
Everyone who met Doreen became her new friend. She held her friends so dearly and easily. You’d go to her cabaret show and see people YOU hadn’t seen in years; but Doreen stayed in touch. Everyone stayed in touch with Doreen.
It is monstrously unfair that we did not get more time with her. More shows with her. More music with her. More life with her. When someone brings that much joy and love to everyone they meet, that much commitment to the craft they love … it’s unfair. And heartbreaking.”
Heights film director John M. Chu also paid his respects, tweeting:
“Doreen was a force of love that seeped into every inch of IN THE HEIGHTS. When she sings to Nina in Breathe, or as the voice in ‘Siempre’ her imprint on the movie and the In The Heights family will live forever. Thank u Doreen. U are loved by so many “
What a heartbreaking loss. We’ll be keeping Doreen and her family in our thoughts.
See some more of the tributes (below):
The scratch in the record is my favorite part.
Love you forever Doreen.https://t.co/A6tNPgpvJY
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 18, 2020
In her presence I fully understood what it meant to be loved. The sparkle in her eyes and the light in her voice were proof that we are all made of stars. Every time I opened my heart to her she showed me what compassion truly is. I wish I could have bottled her laughter, but… pic.twitter.com/b53g6ygA0S
— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) October 18, 2020
… I want you here to see and hug and hold, to drive with the top down, watch Wall-E over and over, and sing and dance with. But you are needed to do greater work now. So, til I see you again, I love you.#DoreenMontalvo #HeightsFamilia #RIP @doreencita1 pic.twitter.com/10Y1Sc1wtX
— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) October 18, 2020
Doreen Montalvo. Para siempre in my memory sending me off into song, take after take, in breathe. You left us with pure light in your work and in our memory of you.♥️????????????
— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) October 18, 2020
RIP Doreen Montalvo. The best dressing roommate and richest heart on Broadway. Our hearts are dim and my condolences are sent to her family and my theatre family. 2020 is such a tough year. ????: In The Heights Closing Night Jan 12, 2011. D is on the far right. pic.twitter.com/NxDBCQ6f7m
— Gabrielle Ruiz (@gabrielleruiz) October 18, 2020
????that angel @doreencita1 has left this earthly life too soon.We’ll miss her remarkable voice,powerful & committed presence & authenticity onstage, & generous, joyful,radiant,kind,loving self. Holding her beloved Michael &family in my❤️&prayers. #RIP beauty ????????????#doreenmontalvo pic.twitter.com/FVSHti3Aq1
— Donna Murphy (@DMurphyOfficial) October 18, 2020
She was beloved by the entire company and by every person who was lucky enough to call her a colleague or friend. Our hearts are with her husband Mike and all of her family and friends. 2/2
— Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical (@DoubtfireBway) October 17, 2020
Doreen was a force of love that seeped into every inch of IN THE HEIGHTS. When she sings to Nina in Breathe, or as the voice in “Siempre” her imprint on the movie and the In The Heights family will live forever. Thank u Doreen. U are loved by so many❤️????https://t.co/m8BHvYPQuQ
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) October 18, 2020
Still shocked at #DoreenMontalvo passing. Seems like yesterday we were having the time of our lives in the ensemble of In The Heights. Her loving embrace for everyone and her joy.. I’ll never forget. ????
— Joshua Henry (@joshuahenry20) October 18, 2020
Very sad and shocked to learn of the death of the lovely Doreen Montalvo – who played the TV boss in our musical adaptation of Mrs Doubtfire. She was such a warm and positive person and I wish the @DoubtfireBway team could be together at a time like this. https://t.co/1LEpq8CXj7
— John O’Farrell (@mrjohnofarrell) October 17, 2020
[Image via Joseph Marzullo/WENN & Lin-Manuel Miranda/Twitter]