Actress Elizabeth Pena, who most recently appeared in the Emmy-winning hit ABC comedy series Modern Family, has died at the age of 55.

According to Pena’s manager, Gina Rugolo, Pena died in Los Angeles on Tuesday after complications from an illness. There were no other details about the passing of the Cuban-American actress.

Pena was a hard-working actress who spent over four decades on TV and in films throughout her career. She was versatile in her ability to shift from dramatic roles, roles in thrillers, to comedic roles. Some of her more famous roles include starring in La Bamba, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and Jacob’s Ladder.

Pena also had a strong career on TV, starring in the wildly popular 80s show LA Law before appearing on Dream On, Ressurection Blvd., and eventually working on a a smaller, recurring role on Modern Family. She also starred in the 80s sitcom I Married Dora, where Pena played a housekeeper from El Salvador.

Aside from her starring roles on TV and film, Pena also contributed voice work to the Disney-Pixar’s colossal hit The Incredibles, as well as Seth MacFarflane’s American Dad. Her voice could be heard on the Justice League cartoon series. She most recently appeared on a drama on the Network El Rey, titled Matador.

A spokesperson from the network spoke on the passing of Pena, saying “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.”

Lou Diamond Phillips, who starred with Pena in La Bamba, said in a tweet “I am stunned and heartbroken, just found out about the passing of my friend Elizabeth Peña. She was such a Life Force it’s hard to believe.”

Pena is survived by her husband, her two children, her mother, and a sister.

[photo credit: ikrichter via photopin cc]

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