Elizabeth Peña

Biography

Date of Birth 23 September 1961, Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA Date of Death 14 October 2014, Los Angeles, California, USA (liver cirrhosis) Her love for the arts came naturally as her father was a well-known playwright, actor, director and novelist, so its not hard to understand that by the time she was eight, Cuban-American Elizabeth Pena already had designs to become an actress. Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, her parents, who opened off-Broadway's Latin American Theatre Ensemble, were more than encouraging. Elizabeth attended NY's High School of the Performing Arts and found occasional work in repertory theatre and in television commercials. Her film debut in the independent Spanish-speaking feature El Super (1979) started her on a long line of feisty, rebellious characters that showed plenty of attitude. During the early 80s she played everything from a knife-threatening waitress to a disco queen as she waited for her big break. That big break came in the form of the hugely successful comedy film Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) co-starring Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss and Nick Nolte, in which she stole many scenes as the sultry, politically-minded maid Carmen who lusts for Nolte. This propelled her to move to Los Angeles where she continued to spice up both the big and small screen, including the part of Ritchie Valens' stepsister-in-law in the well-received biopic La Bamba (1987). Honors also came by Elizabeth's way when she received the Independent Spirit and Bravo awards for the film Lone Star (1996) and the ALMA Award for Tortilla Soup (2001). On TV she hasn't found the one series role to thrust her front and center. Co-starring roles in "Tough Cookies," "I Married Dora" and "Shannon's Deal" were short-lived.

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Birth Name

Elizabeth Maria Peña

Birth Place

Elizabeth, Nueva Jersey, Estados Unidos

Birth Date

9/23/1959

Death Date

10/14/2014
Known For
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Jacob's Ladder

Jezzie

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Blue Steel

Tracy Perez (as Elizabeth Pena)

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La Bamba

Rosie Morales

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Strangeland

Toni Gage

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Drug Wars: The Camarena Story

Mika Camarena

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How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer

Lolita

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Sueño

Mirabela

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In the Dark

Dr. Weinette

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Dead Funny

Viv Saunders

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It Came from Outer Space II

Ellen Fields

Starring In
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Grandma (Prime)

Carla

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Ana Maria in Novela Land

Sra. Soto

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Girl on the Edge

Esther

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In the Dark

Dr. Weinette

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Plush: The Movie

Dr. Lopez

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The Perfect Family

Christina Rayes

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Mother And Child

Amanda

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Goal II: Living the Dream

Rosa Maria

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Racing for Time

Flores

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Dragon Wars

Agent Linda Perez

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Adrift in Manhattan

Isabel Parades

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Love Comes Lately

Esperanza

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Down in the Valley

Gale

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The Lost City

Miliciana Muñoz

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Transamerica

Margaret

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Keep Your Distance

Holly

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Sueño

Mirabela

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How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer

Lolita

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The Incredibles

Mirage (voice)

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Suburban Madness

Clara Harris

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Impostor

Midwife (as Elizabeth Pena)

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Tortilla Soup

Leticia Naranjo

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ZigZag

Ms. Tate

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Things Behind The Sun

Carmen

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Seven Girlfriends

Martha

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Strangeland

Toni Gage

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Rush Hour

Johnson

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Highway Hitcher

Zeena

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The Second Civil War

Christina

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Gridlock'd

Admissions Person (as Elizabeth Anne Dickinson)

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Lone Star

Pilar

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It Came from Outer Space II

Ellen Fields

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Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

Kate Haley

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Dead Funny

Viv Saunders

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The Waterdance

Rosa

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Jacob's Ladder

Jezzie

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Drug Wars: The Camarena Story

Mika Camarena

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Blue Steel

Tracy Perez (as Elizabeth Pena)

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Vibes

Consuelo

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*batteries not included

Marisa Esteval

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La Bamba

Rosie Morales

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Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Carmen

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Crossover Dreams

Liz Garcia

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.....e Tutti Risero

Rita

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Times Square

Disco Hostess (as Elizabeth Pena)

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Blaze You Out

Dona

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