Broadway actress Doreen Montalvo, who is poised to appear in upcoming film adaptations of musicals “In the Heights” and “West Side Story,” is dead, her agent, Michael Rodriguez, confirmed to the United States TODAY. She was 56.
Montalvo appeared in the original Broadway cast member “In the Heights” in 2008 and later joined the “On Your Feet!”, Gloria and Emilio Estefan jukebox musical. For the past 14 years, she has also appeared as a guest on television shows, including “Madame Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Smash” and “Law & Order.”
She is credited with small roles in the film versions of “In the Heights” and “West Side Story,” both of which were originally slated to debut this year before closing theaters due to the coronavirus pandemic pushed them to 2021.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and starred in “In the Heights” before continuing to build the musical juggernaut “Hamilton”, recalled in a series of tweets that Montalvos was the first audition he saw while working on “Heights,” which would go on to win four Tony Awards, including best musical.
“It’s outrageously unfair that we did not get more time with her,” Miranda wrote. “More shows with her. More music with her. More life with her. When someone brings so much joy and love to everyone they meet, so much commitment to the craft they love … it’s unfair. And heartbreaking.”
“In the Heights” film director Jon M. Chu wrote that Montalvo “was a force of love seeping into every inch” of the film. “When she sings to Nina in ‘Breathe’ or as the voice in ‘Siempre’, her imprint on the film and the family ‘In The Heights’ will live on forever. Thank you Doreen. You are loved by so many.”
“I just don’t have all my words yet, it’s too much,” tweeted “Hamilton” actor Javier Muñoz, who appeared alongside Montalvo in “In the Heights.” “But I love you Doreen. Always.”
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