The last few weeks have likely been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for Katharine McPhee, but the 34-year-old star sure has shown a lot of strength. On July 24, McPhee dedicated her return to Broadway to her late father, Daniel, as E! News reported, and fair warning: It's probably going to make you feel some feels.
McPhee began her limited-run performance in Waitress — she plays pregnant pie-maker Jenna Hunterson — back in April, and was originally scheduled to stay on through June 17. In May, it was announced that McPhee would extend her run in the show through Aug. 19, Playbill reported, but she recently took some time off in the wake of her father's death in mid-July.
On the night of her return to Waitress, the star penned a touching Instagram post that dedicated her performance to her dad. In the photo, McPhee is sitting at a vanity in her dressing room back stage, and lovingly glances up towards the sky. "Dad, this one’s for you," she captioned the picture, followed by an angel emoji. "@waitressmusical here we go."
Even though McPhee's father wasn't able to watch her Broadway debut, he did get to see his daughter reach another meaningful milestone. On July 3, McPhee's rep confirmed to Bustle (TMZ was the first to report the news) that she and boyfriend David Foster had gotten engaged while vacationing in Italy.
Sadly, two weeks later, McPhee shared that her father had passed away in an emotional Instagram post. "He was my biggest fan, my biggest champion, always telling me to 'Give em hell kid!'" the actor wrote. "He was so kind and caring and made sure we knew how much he loved us. Not sure my heart will ever be the same. I’m so sad he missed my broadway debut. But when I return to the stage next week I hope he can watch it in peace and from up above."
McPhee debuted her engagement ring from Foster shortly after Daniel passed, and revealed to fans that it would always have a special tie to the memory of her father. "My ring was the last thing I showed my dad before he passed," she captioned a photo on Instagram, "and makes me smile when I look at this as a reminder of our last conversation."
McPhee and Foster first sparked dating rumors back in May 2017, but insisted that they weren't an item when asked about their relationship several months later. The couple would continue to be tight-lipped about their then-rumored romance, despite getting snapped together during a few PDA-filled outings around the globe.
Fans finally got a confirmation from the pair at the 2018 Met Gala in May, as McPhee and Foster made their red carpet debut. When asked about the evening by Entertainment Tonight, McPhee replied that she and her beau were having a "fun date night." After so many months of speculation, finally announcing their love was no doubt a relief.
It's heartbreaking to know that McPhee's father won't be able to walk her down the aisle when she gets married to Foster, but at least he passed knowing that his daughter was in love.