Carmen Zapata

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Carmen Zapata
Carmen Zapata and Vito Scotti.JPG
Zapata and Vito Scotti in Love, American Style in 1973
Born Carmen Margarita Zapata
(1927-07-15)July 15, 1927
New York City, New York, USA
Died January 5, 2014(2014-01-05) (aged 86)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Years active 1969–2002
Spouse(s) Ron Friedman (1957-1963) (divorced)

Carmen Margarita Zapata (July 15, 1927 – January 5, 2014) was an American actress. Zapata was born in New York City to a Mexican father and an Argentine mother.[1] She appeared in over one hundred movies and shows, including Batman: The Animated Series, Married... with Children, Sister Act, and she was Carmen Castillo in Santa Barbara. One of her longest-running roles was on the bilingual children's program Villa Alegre, where for nine years she played the lead character, "Doña Luz."[2][3]

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.

In 1976, Zapata joined Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., in starring roles in the 12-episode ABC situation comedy summer replacement series, Viva Valdez, about a Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles.[4]

Zapata died on January 5, 2014 from heart problems. She was eighty-six.[5]


  1. ^ The Sacramento Bee, "Playing Against Type Long Cast In Stereotypical Mexican Roles, Carmen Zapata Has Found A Part That Fills Her Soul In Stc'S "Driving Miss Daisy"(September 11, 1990, Page E1); "She had been christened so in New York City daughter of a Mexican father and an Argentine mother"
  2. ^ Lowe Kilmer. "Celebrities" (column), Watertown Daily Times (New York), October 7, 2003, Lifestyles & Leisure section, page B2.
  3. ^ Matt S. Meier, Conchita Franco Serri, and Richard A. Garcia. Notable Latino Americans: A Biographical Dictionary, Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press, 1997, page 410: "Most important, in her role of Doña Luz she was, for nine years, the heart and soul of the Public Broadcasting System's bilingual program, 'Villa Alegre.'"
  4. ^ "Viva Valdez". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Actress Carmen Zapata Dies at 86: Hollywood Reporter website. Retrieved on January 17, 2014.

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