In Memoriam – Lupe Ontiveros, 1942 – 2012

Actress Lupe Ontiveros who co-starred in popular films such as Selena, As Good as It Gets and Real Women Have Curves, died of liver cancer Friday in Los Angeles.  She was 69.  A native of El Paso, Texas, Ontiveros began her career in 1976, when she had a brief role as a maid on Charlie’s Angels.  Like many Hispanic actresses of her time, that was pretty much all she could get.  But, while she embraced her ethnic heritage, she also refused to let herself be defined by it.  She received greater notoriety after portraying Yolanda Saldivar, the woman obsessed with singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, in the 1997 film Selena.  Saldivar shot Selena to death in 1995, after Selena’s parents discovered Saldivar had been embezzling money from the Selena fan club she managed.  Saldivar is now serving life in prison.

Most recently Ontiveros appeared in ABC’s Desperate Housewives as a nosy mother-in-law.  Regardless of whatever character she played – no matter how stereotypical – Ontiveros set a high standard for all actresses to follow.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

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