Shelley Morrison has passed away.

The 83-year-old died of a heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to her publicist.

While she has a storied 50-year career as an actress she is perhaps best known as Rosario Salazar, Karen’s tough-talking maid from El Salvador, in the original run of Will and Grace.

Roasario was initially just written as a character for one episode, but her performance was so memorable that she ended up appearing in 68 episodes.

“Rosario is one of my all-time favourite 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 and Grace, Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.

Morrison also appeared with Dean Martin in How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, with Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl the same year, and with Salma Hayek in Fools Rush In in 1997.

She is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Walter Dominguez.