DANNY Burstein was married to fellow Broadway star Rebecca Luker for the last two decades.
Luker passed away on December 23 following a courageous battle with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker pose at the opening night after-party for Lincoln Center Theater’s production of My Fair Lady on Broadway at David Geffen Hall on April 19, 2018 in New York CityCredit: Getty Images
Who is Danny Burstein?
Burstein has appeared in 18 Broadway shows and was starring in Moulin Rouge! The Musical until the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.
“I lost my sense of taste and smell and had been monitoring the severity of my symptoms by the hour,” he wrote for The Hollywood Reporter.
“It felt like there was an 80-pound boy standing straight up on my chest,” he added, sharing that he “was surrounded by death and I knew that the longer I stayed in the unit the greater my chances were that eventually it would be me the nurses were talking about.”
Danny Burstein in January of 2020Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Other memorable Burstein roles include The Drowsy Chaperone, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof and many others.
He has received two Drama Desk Awards and six Tony Award nominations.
Burstein was born on June 16, 1964 in New York City.
His biological parents separated when he was two months old and he was raised by his mother and stepfather.
The couple in January of 2019Credit: Getty Images – Getty
When did he marry Rebecca Luker?
Burstein and Luker were married on June 9, 2000.
They met when they were on the same stage together in Time and Again in San Diego.
Do they have children together?
They do not have children together, but Burstein has two children from a previous marriage – Zachary and Alexander.
They were Luker’s stepsons.
Rebecca Luker attends the American Theatre Wing Centennial Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on September 18, 2017Credit: Getty Images – Getty
How did Rebecca Luker die?
Luker died after being diagnosed with the fatal neurodegenerative disease closely related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
She made a video in October urging people to email their congressmen about making the drug Prosetin more available for those suffering from ALS.
She also raised money for the drug in an “At Home with Rebecca Luker” in June.
The goal was to raise $175,000, but before her death she had already gained $230,317.
Rebecca Luker attends the Broadway opening night of Cabaret at Studio 54 on April 24, 2014 in New York CityCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Luker went public earlier this year saying she had been diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Her death was announced by Burstein, who said in a statement “our family is devastated.”
“I have no words at this moment because I’m numb.”
Tributes flooded social media, including from Broadway stars like Laura Benanti, who called Luker “humble, loving and kind” with a “golden voice” that would “wrap you in peace.”
Seth Rudetsky said it was “a great loss for Broadway and the world.”
Kristin Chenoweth tweeted that Luker was “one of the main reasons I wanted to be a soprano” and Bernadette Peters called her ”one of the most beautiful voices on Broadway and a lovely person.”
Luker made her Broadway debut in 1988 in the iconic show The Phantom of the Opera.