NCLR Mourns Passing of Iconic Latina Actress Lupe Ontiveros

July 27 2012


Julian Teixeira
(202) 776-1812

Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) was saddened to learn of the passing earlier today of Lupe Ontiveros, an award-winning actress with more than 150 films and TV shows to her credit and also a longtime community activist. Ontiveros passed away at the age of 69 after a brief battle with liver cancer.

“The Latino community has lost one of its most talented members and one of its fiercest champions,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “She 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, and 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 ‘mama’ or ‘abuela,’ you could bet that it would be Lupe playing the part. But she was also a ‘mama’ to hundreds of Latino and Latina actors who she mentored and helped shepherd through the complicated maze of the film and television industry. We are especially 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,” continued Murguía.

“She was a tireless advocate for the Latino community, whether it was improving the media image of Latinos 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.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.