Three-Time Tony Award Nominee Rebecca Luker Reveals ALS Diagnosis; Broadway Stars Rally Support

Rebecca Luker Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker announced today that she’s been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, drawing a wave of support on social media from the Broadway community.

The 58-year-old Luker, whose husband, actor Danny Burstein, currently stars in Moulin Rouge! The Musical, posted the news on Twitter today. “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.”

See the tweets, and others, below.

Luker has been a strong and consistent presence on the Broadway musical stage since her 1988 debut in The Phantom of the Opera. In 1995 she was nominated for her first Tony Award for Show Boat, and was nominated again in 2000 for her starring in The Music Man.

Her third Tony nomination was in 2007 for Mary Poppins. In 2013 she appeared in an Off Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion. In addition to many stage credits, Luker has appeared on TV in Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and in the 2012 film Not Fade Away.

Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker Carolyn Contino/Shutterstock

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, atrophy, and muscle spasms, leading to paralysis. There is no known cure. Earlier this month, before she revealed her diagnosis, Luker tweeted, “Hi friends. Please visit this website ( and donate what you can to a promising ALS drug called Prosetin. It’s sponsored by #projectALS and needs to get to as many ALS patients as possible. Please help.”

Today, numerous Broadway stars tweeted their love and support, includding Betty Buckley, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelly O’Hara, Patti Murin, LaChanze, Young Sheldon‘s Iain Armitage and Jason Danieley, the Pretty Woman star who lost his actress wife, Marin Mazzie, to ovarian cancer in 2018.

Here is Luker’s tweet, followed by a sampling of the response from Broadway.


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