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Elizabeth Peña

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.

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Sep 23, 1961 In Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie El Super 1979-04-28
Latest Project:
Movie Grandma 2015-06-04
Known For
Movie Grandma Carla 2015-06-04
Movie Ana Maria in Novela Land Sra. Soto 2015-02-27
Movie Blaze You Out Dona 2013-07-30
Movie In the Dark Dr. Weinette 2013-01-12
Movie Plush Dr. Lopez 2013-09-13
Movie Racing for Time Flores 2008-02-16
Movie A Single Woman Storyteller 2008-09-21
Movie Nothing Like the Holidays Anna Rodriguez 2008-12-12
Movie Dragon Wars Agent Linda Perez 2007-02-08
Movie Adrift in Manhattan Isabel Parades 2007-01-10
Movie Goal! II: Living the Dream Rosa Maria 2007-02-09
Movie Love Comes Lately Esperanza 2007-09-09
Movie How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer Lolita 2005-01-23
Movie Down in the Valley Gale 2005-05-13
Movie La ciudad perdida 2005-01-02
Movie Keep Your Distance Holly 2005-09-02
Movie Sueno Mirabela 2005-09-30
Movie Suburban Madness Clara Harris 2004-10-04
Movie The Incredibles Mirage (voice) 2004-10-27
Movie Zig Zag Ms. Tate 2002-06-14
Movie Tortilla Soup Leticia Narnjo 2001-08-24
Movie Things Behind the Sun Carmen 2001-10-12
Movie On the Borderline Connie 2001-10-23
Movie Seven Girlfriends Martha 2000-04-21
Series Resurrection Blvd. Beatrice 'Bibi' Corrales 2000-06-26
Movie Border Line Maria Rodriguez 1999-02-22
Movie Rush Hour Tania Johnson 1998-09-18
Movie Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within Rosario Ames 1998-11-29
Movie Strangeland Toni Gage 1998-10-02
Movie Contagious Det. Luisa Rojas 1997-01-22
Movie The Second Civil War Christina 1997-03-15
Movie Lone Star Pilar 1996-06-21
Movie Across the Moon Carmen 1995-03-28
Movie It Came from Outer Space II Ellen Fields 1995-12-31
Movie Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Kate Haley 1995-07-19
Movie Roomates Lisa 1994-05-30
Movie Fugitive Among Us Flo Martin 1992-02-04
Movie Jacob's Ladder Jezebel 1990-11-02
Series Drug Wars: The Camarena Story Mika Camarena 1990-01-07
Movie Blue Steel Tracy Perez 1990-03-16
Series Shannon's Deal 1990-04-16
Movie Vibes Consuelo 1988-08-05
Movie La Bamba Rosie Morales 1987-07-24
Movie *batteries not included Marisa Esteval 1987-12-18
Series Tough Cookies 1986-03-05
Movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills Carmen 1986-01-31
Movie Times Square Disco Hostess 1980-10-17
Movie El Super Aurelita 1979-04-28