Elizabeth Maria Peña
September 23, 1959
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||October 14, 2014 55) (aged|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, musician|
|Spouse(s)||William Kibler |
(m. 1988; divorced)
Elizabeth Maria Peña (September 23, 1959 – October 14, 2014) was an American actress, writer and musician. Her work in films included Nothing like the Holidays , Batteries Not Included , La Bamba , Down and Out in Beverly Hills , Jacob's Ladder , Rush Hour , The Incredibles, and Lone Star , for which she won the 1996 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and a Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film. She was also a founding member of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. Peña also voiced Rosa Santos in Maya and Miguel .
Peña was born on September 23, 1959in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she was raised, the daughter of Mario Peña, an actor, director, and writer who co-founded the Latin American Theatre Ensemble, and Estella Margarita (Toirac) Peña, an arts administrator and producer. She was of Cuban descent, and spent her early years in Cuba. At age 8, Peña and her family moved to New York City. In 1975, she was a founding member of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. In 1977, she graduated from New York's High School of Performing Arts. Her classmates were Ving Rhames and Esai Morales, whom she would later star with in Jacob's Ladder , La Bamba , and Resurrection Blvd.
In 1979, Peña made her film debut, El Super , a "moving and melancholy comedy about a family of lower middle class Cuban refugees attempting to adjust to life in Spanish Harlem".She worked once again with director Leon Ichaso in his next feature, Crossover Dreams . She appeared in films such as Nothing like the Holidays , La Bamba , Down and Out in Beverly Hills , Jacob's Ladder , Lone Star , *batteries not included , Blue Steel, 1997's "Gridlock'd" as ER Admissions Person (under the name Elizabeth Anne Dickinson), Vibes , and Rush Hour . In 2002, she starred in Showtime's Resurrection Blvd. as Tia Bibi Corrades in the episode "Justicia", which she also directed. In 2003, she appeared in and directed "It Was Fun While It Lasted", an episode of The Brothers Garcia . Peña also voiced Mirage in Pixar's animated film The Incredibles. She guest starred in the 18th episode of season 2 of Numb3rs as Sonya Benavides, and in season 4 of Modern Family as Pilar, the Colombian mother of Gloria Pritchett. Although she spoke Spanish, she did not dub her own voice for Spanish releases. Peña was also noted for having starred in I Married Dora , a sitcom in 1987, as Dora Calderon, the title character. She also starred in John Sayles' produced critically acclaimed but short-lived television series Shannon's Deal (1989–1991). In 1996, Sayles wrote and directed the mystery film Lone Star and again cast her in a co-starring role, for which she won the 1996 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film from the National Council of La Raza.
Peña married William Stephan Kibler in 1988. Their marriage later ended in divorce. In 1994, Peña married Hans Rolla, with whom she had two children, Joey and Kaelan.
Peña died on October 14, 2014 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at the age of 55.The cause of death listed on her death certificate was cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, which caused acute gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiogenic shock and cardiac arrest.
|1980||Times Square||Disco Hostess|
|1981||They All Laughed||Rita|
|1985||Crossover Dreams||Liz Garcia|
|1985||Cagney & Lacey||Adelita Carrena||Episode: "Ordinary Hero"|
|1985||T.J. Hooker||Maria||Episode: "Rip-off"|
|1986||Down and Out in Beverly Hills||Carmen|
|1986||Hill Street Blues||Alice||Episode: "Come and Get It"|
|1986||Tough Cookies||Connie Rivera||6 episodes|
|1987||La Bamba||Rosie Morales|
|1987||*batteries not included||Marisa Esteval|
|1987–1988||I Married Dora||Dora Calderon||13 episodes|
|1989||Shannon's Deal||Lucy Acosta||Television film|
|1989||Blue Steel||Tracy Perez|
|1990||Drug Wars: The Camarena Story||Mika Camarena||Miniseries|
|1990–1991||Shannon's Deal||Lucy Acosta||11 episodes|
|1992||Fugitive Among Us||Flo Martin||Television film|
|1993||Dream On||Debra||Episode: "Super Freak"|
|1993–1994||L.A. Law||Jinx Baldasseri||4 episodes|
|1994||Dead Funny||Viv Saunders|
|1995||Across the Moon||Carmen|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Dr. Jennifer Martinez||Episode: "Living Hell"|
|1995||Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||Kate Haley|
|1995||The Invaders||Ellen Garza||Miniseries|
|1996||It Came from Outer Space II||Ellen Fields||Television film|
|1996||Two||Elizabeth Gaitan||Unaired pilot|
|1997||Contagious||Det. Luisa Rojas||Television film|
|1997||The Second Civil War||Christina||Television film|
|1997||Dead Man's Gun||Gisella||Episode: "Fortune Teller"|
|1998||Rush Hour||Detective Tania Johnson|
|1998||The Eddie Files||Aunt Ida||Episode: "Charts & Graphs: The Dessert Derby"|
|1998||Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within||Rosario Ames||Television film|
|1999||Border Line||Maria Rodriguez||Television film|
|2000||Ryan's Comedia||Mrs. Neuroplanet||Voice|
|2001||Things Behind the Sun||Carmen|
|2001||Tortilla Soup||Leticia Naranjo|
|2001||Resurrection Blvd.||Beatriz "Bibi" Corrales||Episode: "Arriba Y Abajo"|
|2001||On the Borderline||Connie|
|2002||Ten Tiny Love Stories||Nine|
|2002–2003||Boston Public||Superintendent Elizabeth Vasquez||2 episodes|
|2003||CSI: Miami||Mercedes Escalante||Episode: "Simple Man"|
|2003||The Brothers Garcia||Director|
Episode: "It Was Fun While It Lasted"
|2004||The Hollywood Mom's Mystery||Theresa Shoe||Television film|
|2004||Suburban Madness||Clara Harris||Television film|
|2004||Maya & Miguel||Rosa Santos||Voice|
|2004||NCIS||FBI Agent Lina Reyes||Episode: "Terminal Leave"|
|2004–2005||Justice League||Paran Dul||Voice|
|2005||How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer||Lolita|
|2005||Without a Trace||Rosie Diaz||Episode: "Neither Rain Nor Sleet"|
|2005||Down in the Valley||Gale|
|2005||Keep Your Distance||Holly|
|2005||The Lost City||Miliciana Muñoz|
|2005||Numb3rs||Sonya Benavides||Episode: "Assassin"|
|2006||Minoriteam||Maria / Gold Digger||Voice|
Episode: "Landon in Love"
|2007||Adrift in Manhattan||Isabel Parades|
|2007||American Dad!||Store Owner||Voice|
Episode: "American Dream Factory"
|2007||Goal II: Living the Dream||Rosa Maria|
|2007||D-War||Agent Linda Perez|
|2007||Love Comes Lately||Esperanza|
|2008||Racing for Time||Flores||Television film|
|2008||A Single Woman||Storyteller|
|2008||Nothing like the Holidays||Anna Rodriguez|
|2009||Ghost Whisperer||Marla||Episode: "This Joint's Haunted"|
|2009||Mother and Child||Amanda|
|2009||Down for Life||Mrs. Castro|
|2011||Off the Map||Inez||Episode: "I'm Home"|
|2011||The Perfect Family||Christina Reyes|
|2013||Major Crimes||Rosa Vega||Episode: "Under the Influence"|
|2013||Modern Family||Pilar||2 episodes|
|2013||Blaze You Out||Dona|
|2014||Matador||Maritza Sandoval||7 episodes|
|2015||Girl on the Edge||Esther|
|2015||Ana Maria in Novela Land||Sra Soto|
|2017||The Song of Sway Lake||Marlena||(final film role; posthumous release)|
John Thomas Sayles is an American independent film director, screenwriter, editor, actor, and novelist. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996). His film Men with Guns (1997) was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His directorial debut, Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980), has been added to the National Film Registry.
La Bamba is a 1987 American biographical film written and directed by Luis Valdez that follows the life and career of Chicano rock 'n' roll star Ritchie Valens. The film stars Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña, Danielle von Zerneck, and Joe Pantoliano. The film also covers the effect that Valens' career had on the lives of his half-brother Bob Morales, his girlfriend Donna Ludwig, and the rest of his family. In 2017, La Bamba was included in the annual selection of 25 motion pictures added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and recommended for preservation.
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