Della Reese, the singer and actress who became a household name while starring as a divine supervisor named Tess on CBS’ “Touched by An Angel,” has died at 86, her family has confirmed.
“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,” Reese’s family said in a statement. “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.”
Before “Touched by an Angel” debuted in 1994, Reese was mainly known as a singer, although she had co-starred on “Chico and the Man,” ”Charlie and Company” and “The Royal Family” and hosted her own talk show, “Della.” Over the years, she appeared on shows including “Night Court,” ”L.A. Law,” ”Designing Women,” Welcome Back, Kotter,” ”The A-Team,” ”MacGyver” ”The Love Boat” and, more recently, “That’s So Raven.”