Elizabeth Peña is a household name, and for good reason: with over a hundred films and television roles under her belt, the actress appeared in everything from the hit TV show Modern Family to the family favorite animated classic The Incredibles.
Cuban born and New Jersey raised, Elizabeth paved the way for Latina actress everywhere, and her colleagues and friends mourned her death with the rest of the world when she passed away last week at the early age of 55. Though she died of “natural causes” the actresses death still comes as a shock to many of us who have loved her since her first role as Aurelita in El Super.
She is survived by her husband, her two children, her mother, and her sister. Our hearts go out to them, as we too mourn this terrible loss, not only of a great actress, but an incredible role model too.
In honor of Elizabeth, I’ll be watching the films I loved her in most. I suggest you do the same. Gather your friends together for a marathon that includes La Bamba and (a guilty favorite of mine) Rush Hour (the original, because that one is really the only one worth watching anyway). Top it off with some cubanos sandwiches and you’ll have yourself one heck of an Elizabeth Peña memorial.