Beloved actress Della Reese has died at the age of 86.
While Reese was a critically-acclaimed singer, fans might mainly remember her portrayal of Tess in the classic TV show Touched By an Angel.
A family friend of the multi-talented entertainer issued a statement where they explained that she passed away in her California home with her loved ones by her side.
In the past few years, Reese did appear to be battling several health issues and was often seen in a wheelchair during public outings.
It is well documented that in 1979, Reese suffered an aneurysm that required two life-saving surgeries.
Reese’s co-star, Roma Downey, released a statement on behalf of the family that read: “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.”
It went on to say: “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 is survived by her husband, Franklin Lett, and children Deloreese, James, Franklin, and Dominique.
Fans of the talented actress and accomplished singer took to social media to share their memories and condolences.
One person said: “Wow why do people always start passing at the end of the year…I loved her in Harlem Nights.”
Another mourning supporter stated: “Oh wow I loved that show. She was an amazing woman rip.We are just at that age, man. Every day we lose someone else we grew up watching & listening to.”
A third commenter wrote: “Don’t tell me my baby passed away!!!!? Rest In Peace, Ms. Della. We were all touched by your angelic presence in this world.”
According to Reese’s biography, she was in the entertainment industry for over 60 years.
She hosted her own talk show, Della, appeared in multiple films including playing opposite Redd Foxx in Harlem Nights (1989), Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), and Elliott Gould in Expecting Mary (2010).