Elizabeth Pena 'Modern Family' Actress, Dies At 55
Elizabeth Peña, the TV and movie actress, died on Tuesday after a brief illness. She was 55.
Elizabeth Peña Dies
Peña’s manager confirmed her untimely death to CNN. Details on the illness that took her life have not been revealed.
On Modern Family, Peña proved to be a scene stealer playing the mom of Gloria (Sofia Vergara), Pilar, in the show’s 2013 season. She’s also had memorable guest-starring roles on Major Crimes, Prime Suspect, Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace, NCIS and more. Peña’s most recent leading role on a TV show was as Maritza Sandoval in Matador.
Peña, who had her first film role in 1979, has been in tens of moves. Over the decades, she’s appeared in They All Laughed, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, La Bamba, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Rush Hour, Tortilla Soup and voiced the part of Mirage in The Incredibles.
"I am stunned and heartbroken, just found out about the passing of my friend Elizabeth Peña. She was such a Life Force it's hard to believe," Peña’s La Bamba costar Lou Diamond Phillips tweeted. "Elizabeth was not only an amazing actress, she was one of the most vibrant, wonderful people I have ever known. My prayers to her family."
In addition to her acting credits, Peña also tried her hand at directing. When she joined the Director’s Guild of America, she was only the fourth Latina to do so. She directed episodes of Resurrection Blvd., The Brothers Garcia and Ylse.
Peña is survived by her husband, two children, her mother and a sister.
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