(This was first posted to the ALMA Awards 411 Blog.)
This was a tough bit of news for us to take in: the passing of Lupe Ontiveros, an award-winning actress with more than 150 films and TV shows to her credit and a longtime community activist. On July 26, Lupe passed away at the age of 69 after a brief battle with liver cancer.
Lupe worked tirelessly in film and television, paving the way for many Latinas to carve out their own path in Hollywood. One of our favorite memories of Lupe was her winning the “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series” ALMA Award in 1998 for her work in the show “Veronica’s Closet.” You can see her below with the award.
As fans, friends, and family members continue to mourn the loss of such a dynamic role model, actress, and icon, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía had the following words to offer on the news of Lupe’s passing:
“The Latino community has lost one of its most talented members and one of its fiercest champions. Lupe was one of the most recognized Latinas in film and television, with an acclaimed career spanning nearly 40 years. From sitcoms to TV dramas, Oscar-winning movies to independent film, from the Broadway stage to Latino theater, Lupe did it all and made her mark on every production she was in.
“If there was a call for a Latina ‘mamá’ or ‘abuela,’ you could bet that Lupe would be playing the part. But she was also a ‘mamá’ to hundreds of Latino and Latina actors whom she mentored and helped shepherd through the complicated maze of the film and television industry. We are especially proud and grateful that she was a strong supporter of the NCLR ALMA Awards® from the very beginning. Her blessing helped make the show the place to be for Latino talent in Hollywood.
“She was a tireless advocate for the Latino community, whether it was improving the image of Latinos in the media or helping those suffering from HIV/AIDS. We will miss her dearly, and our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends, colleagues, and fans,” concluded Murguía.
If you’d like to share your own reflections, please feel free to do so. Our thoughts continue to be with Lupe’s family and friends as they cope with this untimely loss.