After starting out as a gospel singer, she had a hit in 1959 with “Don’t You Know,” a powerful ballad created from Puccini’s “Musetta’s Waltz.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJSnKWpb_hs&feature=related
In 1968, Ms. Reese made her acting debut in an episode in the first season of “The Mod Squad.” The police drama was created to appeal to young “hip” viewers and the stories dealt with drugs, race and counterculture themes. Here is the opening sequence: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd85Qim_Z6A
Della Reese went on to act in movies and television. Many folks may know her now as the “Angel Tess” in “Touched by an Angel,” the tv series that ran from 1994 to 2003. But she has never stopped singing, both on stage and at her church, Understanding Principles for Better Living, in Inglewood near Los Angeles. She sings hymns solo, and with the choir, every Sunday.