It’s been a few months since Lucas Black left his longtime role of Special Agent Christopher LaSalle on Season 6 of NCIS: New Orleans. Though many hope the actor will return, his character’s death limits how he could return — if he wanted to. Regardless, the episode also featured LaSalle’s mother, Rose. The actress who played her, Rebecca Luker, has announced a recent ALS diagnosis. Here’s what we know.
Rebecca Luker played Rose LaSalle on ‘NCIS: New Orleans’
As the widow of Beau LaSalle (Mike Pniewski) and mother of Cade Lambert/LaSalle (Clayne Crawford) and Christopher LaSalle (Black), Rose LaSalle (Rebecca Luker) had her hands full.
Though Luker only portrayed the part in three episodes spaced apart, she held the answers about Cade’s mental health and Christopher’s endless pursuit of justice.
The last Luker’s Rose appeared on NCIS: New Orleans is the very same episode that Christopher is killed: “Matthew 5:9.” The mother has now lost both of her boys leaving Luker no real reason to return to the NCIS set.
Luker is mostly known in the theater world
Though NCIS: New Orleans fans know Luker as Rose LaSalle, Luker is actually a longtime theater veteran. She’s a three-time Tony Award nominee for her work in the 2007 production of Mary Poppins. Following that, she appeared in the Off Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.
According to IMDb, Luker “is the first singer-actress to ever be nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Magnolia in Show Boat. She also received “Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for her performance as Marian in the Broadway production of The Music Man.“
Luker’s husband, Danny Burstein, currently stars in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
That aside, Luker’s made a name for herself in project slike Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and in the 2012 film Not Fade Away.
The actress posted the news of her ALS diagnosis
On Feb. 9, Luker took to Twitter to announce the news of her recent medical struggles.
“Hello friends,” she wrote. “I have some tough news. Late last year I was diagnosed with ALS. I have the best medical care in the world and the greatest support. My dear husband Danny has been an angel. I will get well. In the meantime, we fight and go forward. Keep us in your thoughts.”
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord,” according to the ALS Association. The site also says the disease “strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and it is estimated there are at least 16,000 Americans who have the disease at any given time.”
Many chimed in to share their encouragement and support — mostly from the theater community.
“Beloved beauty Rebecca—You are such a gift to and light in this World. I love you so much, and I’m so grateful for the inspiration of your voice and presence. I’m sending you all of my love and many prayers. XOXO,” Betty Buckley tweeted.
“Colin and I are sending you and Danny all the positive energy and vibes and love we have. You’re a superhero,” Patti Murin said.
“Sweet Rebecca, you are one of the strongest people I know. You are not alone on this journey Sending you and Danny so much love,” Victoria Clark added.
While Luker’s future in the entertainment industry is unknown, we’re sending all our best wishes during this challenging time.
NCIS: New Orleans airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS.