Actress Elizabeth Pena Dead At 55

by Zach Seemayer 6:41 PM PDT, October 15, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Actress Elizabeth Pena, most recently seen on the crime drama series Matador on the El Rey Network, has died at the age of 55.

The news of Pena's passing came from her nephew Mario-Francisco Robles, a writer for Latino Review, who posted an obituary on the site.

According to Robles, Pena passed away on Tuesday after being admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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No information regarding the actress' cause of death has yet been released.

During her decades-long career, Pena appeared in a number of huge projects including, the 1990 psychological horror drama Jacob's Ladder, the 1996 crime drama Lone Star, the 1998 action comedy Rush Hour, and Pixar's The Incredibles (voicing the sinister and seductive Mirage).

Recently, she also guest starred on Modern Family as the mother of Sofia Vergara's Gloria Delgado-Pritchett.

And her work wasn't strictly in front of the camera. Pena also occasionally directed, helming an episode of the 2000 boxing drama Resurrection Boulevard, of which she also starred in 21 episodes.

In her nephew's obituary, he takes a moment to remember his aunt:

"She was our star. She was my star. We celebrated her triumphs. We sweated through her struggles. As a family, even when we didn't always talk, we would all do whatever we could for one another. When I got married 3 years ago, despite their being some logistical hurdles, she flew herself, her husband, and both her kids to attend my special night in New York's Hudson River Valley. Dancing with her, my uncle, and my cousins under the stars that night is a memory I've always cherished, and it's now one that I'll have to hold onto for the rest of my life…"

"…She undoubtedly helped fuel my love of film. She informed my desire to be an actor, writer, and director. I followed in her footsteps at the High School of Performing Arts. It still remains my life's goal to earn a living doing what I love: Creating and performing art, transporting audiences to another place for a couple of hours. She did it all, and she made it look fun. She made it look easy. But I know it wasn't. I know she had a drive like no other, and that she was a force to be reckoned with when she decided it was time to make it big or...well, nothing. She never considered an alternative. Her singular focus was breathtaking, and awe-inspiring. Tonight, my family is heartbroken. There's now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life, and your never ending pursuit of happiness."

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And stars have taken to twitter to send out their condolences, including Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria who wrote, "Rest in Peace Elizabeth paved the way for so many of us!"

Other stars shared their condolences as well.

Most recently, Pena wrapped production on the first season of the action drama Matador, on Robert Rodriguez's El Rey network

The El Rey Network released a statement regarding Pena's passing:

"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."

Check out the video below for a look behind the scenes of Matador when ET caught up with Rodriguez on set.