‘Rush Hour’ Star Elizabeth Pena Dies at 55

By Ambika Thakur | 3 years ago
‘Rush Hour’ Star Elizabeth Pena Dies at 55
69th Annual Golden Globes Awards./Cast of Modern Family

Actress Elizabeth Pena has died at 55.  Pena passed away on Oct. 14, 2014 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  The news of American actress and director’s demise was confirmed by her nephew, Mario-Francisco Robles. Read on for further details.

According to her nephew, Latino Review writer Mario-Francisco Robles, Pena passed away in  Los Angeles after suffering from a epigrammatic sickness. Her career spanned four decades. Pena was born in Elizabeth NJ on Sept. 23, 1959. She was raised by Cuban immigrant parents. She began performing in New York theater. She started her professional career in film industry in 1978 with Leon Ichaso’s “El Super.” She co-starred in “Jacob’s Ladder” and “La Bamba.”

The versatile actress’ notable films include: “Rush Hour,” “Blue Steel” and “Batteries Not Included,” Times Square,” “They All Laughed,” “Crossover Dreams,” Cagney & Lacey,”  T. J. Hooker,”“Down and Out in Beverly Hills,”“Hill Street Blues,” “La Bamba,” “Vibes” and “Blue Steel.”  Pena starred in her own primetime series on ABC, “I Married Dora.” She lent her voice to the “Justice League” animated series, “American Dad” and to Disney-Pixar’s “The Incredibles.”

Pena also had a returning guest role on ABC’s “Modern Family” as Pilar, the mother of Sofia Vergara’s Gloria. The actress recently finshed filming for the first season of El Rey Network’s “Matador.” She played protagonist's mother.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Elizabeth Peña. She was a role model, a truly extraordinary performer and an inspiration in every sense of the word. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth’s family and friends during this difficult time. She ‎will be deeply missed, ” said El Rey Network in a statement, as published on Deadline.

Pena left behind her husband Hans, her two teenage children Fiona and Kaelan, her mother Estela, and her sister, Tania.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elizabeth’s family and friends during this difficult time.

For more celebrity news coming up, stay tuned here on Movie News Guide (MNG).

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Cast of Modern Family



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I am an Indian native filled with charm, a sense of humor, style, and a passion for writing. I am an instinctive artist and writing prose and verse since I was 15 years old. I first realized my dreams of becoming a writer at age fourteen and wrote an anthology of Hindi poems. My academic background includes: FDCT ( Fashion Design and Clothing Technology), MA in English, M Sc. in Ecology and Environment Science, and M. Phil. in Sustainable Development. I write on Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle, and Sustainable Development.