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Modern Family actress Elizabeth Peña dead at 55

Elizabeth Peña died on Tuesday of natural causes following a brief illness. She was just 55 years old.

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Her nephew, Latino Review writer Mario-Francisco Robles, confirmed the news in an obituary posted on the site.

He wrote, “The actress, with a professional career spanning nearly 40 years, left us on the night of October 14 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.”

Peña was best known for her roles in La Bamba and Down and Out in Beverly Hills. Most recently, she also enjoyed a recurring role on ABC’s hit series Modern Family, where she played the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria.

According to Deadline, Peña also played the mother of the lead character in Matador, a new series on the El Rey Network.

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The publication reports that the El Rey Network issued the following statement about her death: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Elizabeth Peña. 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.”

Peña also will be missed by many in Hollywood. Celebs have already paid their respects to the late actress via social media.

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Steve Levitan, Modern Family‘s co-creator and executive producer, also paid tribute to the late star via Twitter.

Our thoughts are with Peña’s family and friends during this sad time.

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