Elizabeth Peña passed away on Tuesday, her manager, Gina Rugolo, has confirmed. The La Bamba star reportedly died of natural causes after a brief illness. She was 55. No details about the nature of her illness were made available.
Among her many roles, Peña is most recently known for playing Sofia Vergara's mother in the ABC sitcom Modern Family.
Her more than three-decades-long career included a number of notable roles in film and television. She also tried her hand at directing becoming only the fourth Latina member of the Director's Guild of America when she joined, according to her manager.
Her career highlights include roles in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, La Bamba, Rush Hour, and 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," tweeted actor Lou Diamond Phillips, her La Bamba co-star. "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," he added.
Peña is survived by her mother, a sister, her husband and two children.
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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Overture Films)
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