'Rush Hour' actress Elizabeth Pena dies at 55

Oct 16, 2014, 11:24 IST | PTI

55-year-old actress Elizabeth Pena, who starred in 'Modern Family' and 'Lone Star', has died

Los Angeles: Actress Elizabeth Pena, who starred in 'Modern Family' and 'Lone Star', has died. She was 55.

Elizabeth Pena
Elizabeth Pena. Pic/AFP 

Her nephew, Latino-Review writer Mario-Francisco Robles, confirmed the sad news, reported Ace Showbiz.

"The actress, with a professional career spanning nearly 40 years, left us on the night of October 14 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," Mario wrote.

Elizabeth's manager, Gina Rugolo, said the actress passed away of of natural causes after a brief illness.

Elizabeth, who played Sofia Vergara's mother on 'Modern Family', most recently starred as Maritza Sandoval in the first season of El Rey's series 'Matador'.

"She was a role model, a truly extraordinary performer and an inspiration in every sense of the word. She will be deeply missed," El Rey wrote.

'Modern Family' co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson paid tribute to Elizabeth, tweeting, "The entire cast and crew are very sad to say goodbye to one of our Modern Family members. RIP to the beautiful & talented Elizabeth Pena."

Eva Longoria shared, "Rest in Peace Elizabeth Pena...you paved the way for so many of us!!"

Tribute also came from Zoe Saldana, who wrote, "My heart is broken!!! My prayers are with you and your family. We will miss you Elizabeth Pena -ZS."

Elizabeth's big screen appearance included 'La Bamba', 'Rush Hour', 'Jacob's Ladder' and 'Free Willy 2'.

She also lent her voice to 'The Incredibles', animated series 'Justice League' and 'American Dad!'.

Elizabeth is survived by her husband Hans, her two teenage children Fiona and Kaelan, her mother Estela and her sister Tania.

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