*For nine seasons, Della Reese was the head angel in charge on the CBS series “Touched by an Angel.”
This weekend, she puts on the proverbial wings again – or does she? – in a holiday film for the God-friendly cable channel GMC.
“Christmas Angel” (premiering Saturday Nov. 24 and re-airing Sunday Nov. 25 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST) stars the veteran actress as a mysterious lady who is thought to be an angel by the girl next door, Olivia. When the woman moves into the home, Christmas wishes suddenly begin to come true for people in the town, leading Olivia to believe that her neighbor was sent directly from the heavens.
Turns out the woman, Elsie Waybright, was a famous singer who hadn’t had a hit in years. The fame is long gone and she has moved into the vacant house – disgruntled and toting a bunch of secrets.
“[It’s] about this woman who had been a major star and now here she was with something, a disability; nobody that she knew, no husband that she loved. She had had three [husbands],” said Reese. “And she couldn’t find her daughter – all of these things because of her career. And to see how she worked this out with this child, Olivia, is magnificent.
“[The role] was very interesting for me because it gave me a chance to tell people who think that being in showbusiness is just excitement, and they send the limousine and they take you up to the stars and they dress you in minks and things of the nature, but they don’t tell about when the hit records don’t come anymore.”
Below, Reese remembers her original angel – Tess, and the lasting impact that character has had on fans, as well as her career.
Watch the promo for “Christmas Angel” below.