Some of my best childhood memories included watching ‘Touched By an Angel’ reruns with my babysitter and being in awe of the calming spirit that embodied the character Tess, played by Della Reese.
With a career spanning over sixty-five years in music and television, many people have fond memories of Miss Della Reese. Which is why news of her passing, tugs at the heart’s strings. On November 19, her family reported that she passed away peacefully at her California home.
Born in 1931 in Detroit, Reese grew up as an only child and began singing in church by the age of 6. At the age of 13, she was discovered by gospel legend Mahalia Jackson after being chosen to sing Jackson’s traveling group.
In 1957, Reese released her first single “And That Reminds Me” which became a Top Twenty Pop Hit and a million-seller record. Reese continued to record music over the next four decades, but transitioned more into the spotlight of television and movies. Many remember her for roles in blockbuster classics, like ‘Harlem Nights’, alongside Eddie Murphy and Redd Foxx. As well as ‘A Thin Line Between Love and Hate’, starring Martin Lawrence and Regina King.
Whether you knew her by name, you most definitely knew her face and that powerful, yet soothing voice. She will truly be missed.
Rest well, Della Reese.