Actress Lupe Ontiveros passed away at age 69 to liver cancer. (Photo : Reuters)
Veteran Actress Lupe Ontiveros, known for her role in the biopic Selena, died from liver cancer at the age of 69.
According to close friend Rick Najera, Ontiveros was surrounded with family and friends when she passed away at a hospital in Whittier, California.
Ontiveros portrayed real-life murderer Yolanda Saldivar in Selena, featuring Jennifer Lopez. According to TMZ, fellow Selena co-star Jacob Vargas was at her bedside when she passed.
Like Us on Facebook
She would appear in 2002's Real Women Have Curves as the mother of America Ferrera's character. Ontiveros also starred as a suspicious mother-in-law on ABC's Desperate Housewives, which earned her an Emmy nomination for guest actress in a comedy series.
Ontiveros established her career by playing immigrant characters, saying to NPR in 2009 that she has played a maid over 150 times.
"You've got maids and you've got maids," said Ontiveros. "You got maids that have longevity beyond what you ever conceived of in your wildest dreams. I'll give you an example, The Goonies. Those that got hooked, I have a whole following of 30-year-olds who got hooked. Oh my gosh, I'm a heroine to them."
"She worked tirelessly to perfect her craft and open doors for countless Latinos along the way," said National Hispanic Media Coalition's President and CEO Alex Nogales. "Hollywood never gave her the lead role, but in our hearts she will be remembered as our leading lady. She will be deeply missed by all of us."
Upon news of Ontiveros' passing, her name was trending worldwide on Twitter.
Fellow Desparate Housewives star Eva Longoria tweeted, "I'm deeply saddened at the news of my dear friend Lupe Ontiveros passing. She was more than a colleague to me, she was my family. My heart is with your family Lupe..."
Univision journalist Maria Elena Salinas tweeted Ontiveros' death as a major loss for the Hispanics, she wrote, "Very sad over Lupe Ontiveros passing. Not only a great actress but a great human being. Big loss for Latinas in Hollywood. RIP"
Comedian Luis Guzman tweeted, "R.I.P. Lupe Ontiveros thank you for all your work and being a Pioneer."