‘La Bamba’ Star Elizabeth Peña Has Passed Away

Actress Elizabeth Peña has died, aged 55.

The La Bamba star passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to her nephew, Latino Review writer Mario-Francisco Robles.

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Peña was born in New Jersey. Her father was a playwright and actor, who launched the Latin American Theater Ensemble in New York.

After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts, Peña launched her film career in 1978 with El Super. She went on to appear in hit 1980s films like Down & Out in Beverly Hills, Blue Steel, La Bamba and *batteries not included, and continued to shine in critically-acclaimed 1990s films Jacob’s Ladder, Lone Star and Rush Hour.

The actress also appeared on TV in dramas like Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and Dream On, and she fronted her own show, I Married Dora in the late 1980s.

She also provided the voice of Mirage in The Incredibles and appeared on cartoon series American Dad.

In recent years she played the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character in Modern Family and had just completed work on the first season of cult drama series Matador when she passed away.

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures