Lillian Hurst (born August 13, 1943) is a Puerto Rican actress and comedian, She made her debut as a television comedian in the early 1960s. She has worked in film, stage and television productions in the United States.
Hurst was born in the Villa Palmera section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her father owned the "Farmacia Imperial" ("Imperial Pharmacy"), located in Barrio Obrero, Santurce. She received her primary and secondary education in San Juan, the capital.
At a young age, Hurst told her parents that she wanted to be an actress. They enrolled her in the modeling academy of Ana Santisteban. In 1960, when she was 17 years old, she was clowning around with her friends while waiting for her turn at the academy. Producer Gaspar Pumarejo happened to encounter Hurst when he entered the academy looking for "fresh" talent for a new show that he was producing.
That year Hurst was contracted and she starred in the television comedy Pompilia y su Familia (Pompilia and her Family), which was broadcast on WAPA-TV. Later, she hosted La Hora del Niño (The Children's Hour) on Channel 6.
Some of the other comedies in which she participated in the 1960s were Casos y Cosas de la Casa (Cases and Things of the House) with actor Braulio Castillo and Matrimonio y Algo Más (Marriage and Something More). In 1969, Hurst was contracted by Panamericana de Television of Lima, Peru to work in the program El Hit del Momento (The Hit of the Moment), for one year.
When Hurst returned to Puerto Rico, she went to work in some of the programs produced by her cousin, Tommy Muñiz. She also participated in various theater productions for the first time. Among them were La Casa de las Hojas Azules (The House with the Blue Leaves) and La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja (The True Story of Pedro Navaja). In 1980, Hurst wrote and produced a stage show which she presented at the Condado Beach Hotel in San Juan.
Career in the United States
Hurst went to New York where she worked for a short time on some Off-Broadway productions. Then in 1989, she moved to Los Angeles, California where she enrolled in Santa Monica College and majored in psychology. Hurst was able to work in both Spanish and English language productions. She landed a role as "Mrs. Maris" in Windows (1991), which was presented at the Taper Forum Theater, and as "Lola" in La Balada de Tina Juarez (The Ballad of Tina Juarez; 1992). She founded an acting school for Hispanic children.
Hurst has participated in twenty movies, including the 2005 film English as a Second Language. She has also made over thirty television guest appearances in programs such as JAG, NYPD Blue, The King of Queens, The X-Files, ER, Lost, True Blood and a recurring role in Dharma and Greg, where she played the role of "Celia" in sixteen episodes. She also appeared in the Ugly Betty episode "A Tree Grows in Guadalajara" as Yolanda Salazar, the grandmother of Betty Suarez. In 2009 she appeared on Nip/Tuck as Liz Cruz mother, Mariela.