Played Angel “Monica” on Touched By An Angel
Della Reese, famous gospel singer and star of CBS’ hit show Touched By An Angel died on Sunday peacefully at her home. A devout Christian, she was known for her faith, even becoming an ordained minister and starting her own church, the Understanding Principles for Better Living or UP Church.
Reese was born in 1931 in Detroit. She began her career as a soul and gospel singer. In 1957 her song “That Reminds Me” became a Top 20 hit and was popular globally. Her signature hit “Don’t You Know?” led to a series of other songs which are still popular to this day.
Reese’s first big step into television was a talk show in 1969, Della. It only lasted one year, but produced 200 episodes. Her charisma and energy allowed her to become the first black woman to co-host a late night show, which she did with Johnny Carson the following year.
She became a household name with her role of Monica, the sassy angel supervisor with a golden heart on “Touched By An Angel.” The show was known for being one of the few primetime shows with overt Christian theology and themes. While the show initially got mixed reviews, it became a gigantic success, lasting for nine years. Mrs. Reese had stated she talked to God about the role and God had told her she should act for ten years. She would continue to work for another 10 years as an actress after the show ended.
She is survived by her husband and her three children.