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Elizabeth Peña

Elizabeth Peña

  • Born on
    • September 23rd, 1961
  • Died on
    • October 14th, 2014
Elizabeth Peña (September 23, 1961 - October 14, 2014) was an American actress, and the daughter of a theater-company co-founder, who has also compiled experience as a television director in her own right. Peña was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, daughter of Estella Margarita (née Toirac), an arts administrator and producer, and Mario Peña, the Cuban-born actor, writer, and director who jointly founded the Latin American Theatre Ensemble. It is unknown whether Peña was named after the town of her birth. Peña graduated from New York's High School of Performing Arts in 1977. Her classmates included Ving Rhames, alongside whom she would later co-star in Jacob's Ladder, and Esai Morales, alongside whom she would later co-star in La Bamba. She is also a founding member of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. In 1979, Peña appeared in her first film, El Super, "an exceptionally moving and melancholy comedy about a family of lower-middle-class Cuban refugees attempting to adjust to life in Spanish Harlem.", New York City. Peña worked once again with film director, Leon Ichaso in his next feature Crossover Dreams opposite Ruben Blades. Peña has appeared in movies such as La Bamba, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Lone Star, 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. During the next year, 2003, she appeared in and directed "It Was Fun While It Lasted," an episode of The Brothers Garcia. She also provided the voice of the character Mirage in Pixar's animated film The Incredibles. She guest starred in the 18th episode of Numb3rs, Season Two, as Sonya Benavides. Although the actress does speak Spanish, she does not dub her own voice for Spanish releases. Peña is also noted for having starred in I Married Dora, a sitcom that lasted only 13 episodes in 1987, as Dora Calderon, the "Dora" of the show's title. In the final show, the cast broke the "fourth wall" of suspended disbelief by announcing their cancellation on-camera and taking a curtain call. Writer-director John Sayles produced the critically acclaimed but short-lived television series Shannon's Deal (1989–1991) co-starring Peña alongside series lead Jamey Sheridan. In 1996 Sayles wrote and directed the mystery film Lone Star and again cast her in a co-starring role. Peña died on October 14, 2014 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at the age of 55.

Starring Elizabeth Peña on Plex

Filmography

Acting (39 Credits)

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2018The Song of Sway Lake as MarlenaWatch Free
2015Girl on the Edge as Esther
2015Grandma as Carla
2013In the Dark as Dr. WeinetteWatch Free
2013Blaze You Out as DonaWatch Free
2013Plush as Dr. Lopez
2011The Perfect Family as Christina Rayes
2008Nothing Like the Holidays as Anna Rodriguez
2007Goal II: Living the Dream as Rosa Maria
2007Adrift in Manhattan as Isabel ParadesWatch Free
2007Dragon Wars: D-War as Agent Linda Perez
2005How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer as Lolita
2005Transamerica as Margaret
2005Dream as Mirabela
2005Keep Your Distance as Holly
2005Down in the Valley as GaleWatch Free
2004The Incredibles as Mirage (voice)
2004Maya & Miguel
2002Ten Tiny Love StoriesWatch Free
2002Zig Zag as Ms. Tate
2001Tortilla Soup as Leticia NarnjoWatch Free
2001Impostor as Midwife (as Elizabeth Pena)
2001Things Behind the Sun as Carmen
1999Seven Girlfriends as MarthaWatch Free
1998Strangeland as Toni Gage
1998Rush Hour as Tania Johnson
1997The Second Civil War as Christina
1996Lone Star as Pilar
1995Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home as Kate Haley
1992The Waterdance as Rosa
1990Jacob's Ladder as Jezebel
1990Blue Steel as Tracy PerezWatch Free
1990Drug Wars: The Camarena Story as Mika Camarena
1988Vibes as Consuelo
1987La Bamba as Rosie Morales
1987*batteries not included as Marisa Esteval
1986Down and Out in Beverly Hills as Carmen
1981They All Laughed as Rita
1980Times Square as Disco Hostess

Director (1 Credits)

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