Della Reese, who started as a gospel singer for Mahalia Jackson when she was only 13 and rose to television fame in her 60s as Tess on CBS’ "Touched by an Angel," died Sunday evening. She was 86.
Reese died "peacefully at her California home surrounded by love," former "Angel" costar Roma Downey said in a statement Monday.
"Through her life and work [Reese] touched and inspired the lives of millions of people," Downey said Monday. "She was a mother to me, and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on ‘Touched by an Angel.’ I know heaven has a brand new angel this day."