Actress Shelley Morrison, best known for playing Rosario on the sitcom Will & Grace, has died of heart failure in the US.

Morrison, who was 83, passed away at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday, her publicist Lori DeWaal said. 

Morrison played maid Rosario Salazar on Will & Grace from 1999 to 2006, appearing in 68 episodes. Her other screen credits included Handy Mammy, LA Law and The Flying Nun.

Paying tribute, Will & Grace star Debra Messing wrote on Instagram: "Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie.  She was a kind soul with a huge heart and always had a smile on her face."

Co-star Sean Hayes wrote: "She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart. She was a part of our Will and Grace family and will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to her entire family."

Remembering her friend, Will & Grace's Megan Mullally said: "She was such an integral and important part of my experience at Will & Grace, and became a friend in the intervening years. She was loving, strong, supportive, and kind."

The sitcom's Eric McCormack described Morrison as "a beautiful soul and wonderful actor".

"Her work as Rosario, season after season, was as nuanced and real as it was hysterical. She will be missed by everyone at #WillandGrace. She's a huge part of it," he added.