Star of Stage & Screen Carmen Zapata Dies at 86

According to The Hollywood Reporter, star of stage and screen, Carmen Zapata, died Sunday, January 5, 2014 at her home in Van Nuys, CA. She was 86.

Zapata appeared in over one hundred movies and shows, including Batman: The Animated Series, Married... with Children, Sister Act, and Santa Barbara. One of her longest-running roles was on the bilingual children's program Villa Alegre, where for nine years she played lead character "Doña Luz."

On film, she was well-known for her role in Sister Act, and also portrayed the mother of famed poet and dramatist Garcia Lorca in Death in Granada (1996) opposite Andy Garcia.

Zapata made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Oklahoma! in 1946. Ten years later she starred opposite Geraldine Page in The Innkeepers. She appeared in touring productions of Bells Are Ringing, Guys and Dolls, Carnival and Stop the World, I Want to Get Off and went on to produce over 80 plays. In 2003, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1972, Zapata co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee with actors Ricardo Montalban, Edith Diaz and Henry Darrow. The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) was founded in 1973 by three prominent personalities in the world of theater: Mexican-American actress Carmen Zapata, Cuban-born actress, playwright, and director Margarita Galban, and Argentine-born, award-winning set designer Estela Scarlata.

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