Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Salvation Army

Actress Della Reese, who starred in the television drama Touched by an Angel, has died at age 86. A family representative of the Detroit native released a statement Monday that Reese died peacefully over the weekend in California. No cause of death or additional details were immediately provided.

Roma Downey, Reese’s co star in Angel, shared the news on Instagram, remembering their special relationship.


According to Variety, “She was born Delloreese Patricia Early on July 6, 1931, in Detroit. She began singing in church as a six-year-old; the glamorous black vocalist-actress Lena Horne was one of the film stars she admired as a girl. By her teens, she was working as a singer in gospel luminary Mahalia Jackson’s unit.After graduating from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School (later attended by Diana Ross), she briefly attended Wayne State University, but soon moved into music professionally, taking Della Reese as her pro handle.”

Our prayers and thoughts are with the entire Reese family.

Celebs We’ve Lost in 2017
17 photos

Like TV One on Facebook and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter.