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Elizabeth Pe±a

Elizabeth Pe±a

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Also Known As: Elizabeth Pena Died:
Born: September 23, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This striking, stage-trained Latina first gained recognition as the maid-turned-revolutionary in Paul Mazursky's "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986). Born in the US, Pena was raised in Cuba and moved back to Manhattan at the age of eight. She was acting professionally two years later and subsequently attended the famed High School of Performing Arts. Pena went on to appear in more than 20 off-Broadway shows and toured for two years as Shakespeare's Juliet. She has worked with such renowned theater companies as Joseph Papp's Public Theater, La Mama, and San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater.

This striking, stage-trained Latina first gained recognition as the maid-turned-revolutionary in Paul Mazursky's "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986). Born in the US, Pena was raised in Cuba and moved back to Manhattan at the age of eight. She was acting professionally two years later and subsequently attended the famed High School of Performing Arts. Pena went on to appear in more than 20 off-Broadway shows and toured for two years as Shakespeare's Juliet. She has worked with such renowned theater companies as Joseph Papp's Public Theater, La Mama, and San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 In the Dark (2013)
2.
 Blaze You Out (2012)
3.
4.
 Down for Life (2009)
5.
 Mother and Child (2009)
6.
 Racing For Time (2008)
8.
9.
 D-Wars (2007)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1969:
First lead role in a play at age ten
1979:
Debut feature, "El Super"
1980:
First US film role, "Times Square"
1985:
Made TV debut in an episode of "Cagney and Lacey" (CBS)
1986:
Breakthrough film role, "Down and Out in Beverly Hills"
1986:
TV series debut, "Tough Cookies"
1987:
Played title character in the short-lived ABC sitcom, "I Married Dora"
1989:
TV-movie debut, featured in two-hour pilot for "Shannon's Deal" (NBC)
1990:
First starring role in a feature, "Jacob's Ladder"
:
Cast as a regular on John Sayles' quirky legal drama "Shannon's Deal" (NBC)
1996:
Delivered a superb performance in John Sayles' "Lone Star"
1997:
Appeared in the HBO movie "The Second Civil War"
1998:
Co-starred in the Showtime original "Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within"
1998:
Had featured role in the box-office hit "Rush Hour"
1999:
Was one of the titular "Seven Girlfriends"
2000:
Co-starred in the Showtime series "Resurrection Blvd."
2001:
Portrayed the oldest daughter the ensemble feature, "Tortilla Soup"
2001:
Had featured role as a doctor in the sci-fi film "Impostor"
2004:
Voiced Mirage in the animated feature "The Incredibles"
2005:
Starred opposite Felicity Huffman in the indie-drama "TransAmerica"
2006:
Cast in Andy Garcia's feature directorial debut "The Lost City"
2007:
Cast in the Korean dragon fantasy feature, "Dragon Wars"
2008:
Cast in the indie feature, "How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer" (filmed in 2003)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The High School of Performing Arts: New York , New York - 1977

Notes

"I'm not getting hired, man, that's the fact. I could tell you a fancy, sweet story, but the roles I could have easily played and been absolutely right for--like 'The Perez Family'--they're giving it to other actresses not remotely close to being Latina. . . When they write a Latina role, in general they don't have a relationship in real life--unless it's maybe a housekeeper." --Elizabeth Pena, quoted in DAILY NEWS, June 21, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Steve Kibler. Teacher. Former talent agent; 20 years older than Pena.
husband:
Hans. Carpenter. Married in 1994; father of Pena's children.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Margarita Pena. Arts administrator. Worked with the Latin American Theatre Ensemble.
father:
Mario Pena. Actor, writer, director.
sister:
Tania Pena. Younger.

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