Doreen Montalvo — who appeared in the Waterford, Connecticut, production of “In the Heights” — has passed away at age 56.
In a statement posted to Instagram on Sunday, the actress’ manager Steve Maihack confirmed the devastating news.
“It’s been my honor and extreme pleasure to have worked with Doreen, as her manager. From the minute we met it was like we had been friends for years. Kindred spirits, for sure,” he wrote.
“Doreen could do anything. She was like a winning lotto ticket,” Maihack continued. “She was all of ours winning lotto ticket. We will continue to carry her, telling her story and remembering the talent and love she shared with us all. Most importantly the LOVE, as long as there is love.”
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It’s been my honor and extreme pleasure to have worked with Doreen, as her manager. From the minute we met it was like we had been friends for years. Kindred spirits, for sure. My favorite memory will be watching you as Gloria Fajardo in the OYF tour at the open-air outside KC Starlight theater....belting out ‘Mi Tierra’ to an audience of 8000, with the sun literally setting as if God himself was directing the most PERFECT moment for us all. It was thrilling. This last year had been such an exciting one for Doreen with the filming of both the IN THE HEIGHTS and WEST SIDE STORY feature films, as well as her return to Broadway in MRS DOUBTFIRE. She was also making strides in the tv world- which she was a natural at. Doreen could do anything. She was like a winning lotto ticket. She was all of ours winning lotto ticket. We will continue to carry her, telling her story and remembering the talent and love she shared with us all. Most importantly the LOVE, as long as there is love. “And as I say these words My heart's about to break And ay Mama What do you do when your dreams come true? I've spent my life inheriting dreams from you What do I do with this winning ticket? What can I do but pray?” DOREEN, what an absolute blessing to have known you on your incredible human journey. I pray for you and will love and miss you, para siempre. Para Siempre. PARA SIEMPRE. Rest In Peace. ❤️ #rip
Though Maihack did not disclose her cause of death, Playbill reported on Monday that the theater star passed away “following a sudden ailment.”
Born in the Bronx, Montalvo appeared in Broadway musicals such as “On Your Feet!” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” based on the film of the same name.
In addition to her success onstage, Montalvo appeared in a number of television shows, including “Law & Order,” “One Life to Live,” “The Good Wife,” “Smash,” “Tracked,” “Elementary,” and “Madam Secretary.”
She will also appear in the upcoming film adaptations of “In the Heights” and “West Side Story.”
After the tragic news broke, Lin-Manual Miranda — who starred in and created “In the Heights” and co-produced the film version — paid his respects to Montalvo on social media.
Doreen Montalvo was the first actress to audition for In The Heights in the basement of the Drama Book Shop in 2002. The first one. She sang La Lupe's Qué Te Pedi and embedded herself in my heart in an instant. Her voice was had that tear in it--that lágrima. Inimitable & hers. pic.twitter.com/hLwT34XQ5w— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 18, 2020
“It is monstrously unfair that we did not get more time with her. More shows with her. More music with her,” the “Hamilton” creator wrote. “More life with her. When someone brings that much joy and love to everyone they meet, that much commitment to the craft they love... it’s unfair. And heartbreaking.”
Our condolences go out to Doreen’s loved ones for their loss.