Colón in 1962
|Born||Míriam Colón Valle
20 August 1936
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Died||3 March 2017
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Complications from a pulmonary infection|
Colón was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on August 20, 1936. She was a young girl in the 1940s when her recently divorced mother moved the family to a public housing project called Residencial Las Casas in San Juan. She attended the Román Baldorioty de Castro High School in Old San Juan, where she actively participated in the school's plays. Her first drama teacher, Marcos Colón (no relation) believed that she was very talented; with his help, she was permitted to observe the students in the drama department of the University of Puerto Rico. She was a good student in high school and was awarded scholarships that enabled her to enroll in the Dramatic Workshop and Technical Institute and also in The Lee Strasburg Acting Studio in New York City.
That same year, Colón moved to New York City, where she was accepted by Actors Studio co-founder Elia Kazan after a single audition, thus becoming the Studio's first Puerto Rican member. In New York, Colón worked in theater and later landed a role on the soap opera Guiding Light. On one occasion she attended a performance of René Marqués' La Carreta (The Oxcart). That presentation motivated her to form the first Hispanic theater group, with the help of La Carreta's producer, Roberto Rodríguez, called "El Circuito Dramático".
In 1954 she appeared on stage in "In The Summer House" at the Play House in New York City. Between 1954 and 1974, Colón made guest appearances in television shows such as Peter Gunn and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She appeared mostly in westerns such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The High Chaparral, and Have Gun, Will Travel.
Colón appeared in the 1961 film One-eyed Jacks as "the Redhead". In 1962, she was featured as the co-star in a teleplay written by Frank Gabrielsen, and produced for the TV series The DuPont Show of the Week. The title of the hour-long episode was "The Richest Man in Bogota", and it aired on 17 June 1962. It starred Lee Marvin as Juan de Núñez, and Miriam Colón as "Marina" (not Medina-Saroté, as in the original H.G. Wells story, The Country of the Blind).
In 1979, she starred alongside fellow Puerto Rican actors José Ferrer, Raúl Juliá, and Henry Darrow in Life of Sin, a film in which she portrayed Isabel la Negra, a real-life Puerto Rican brothel owner. In 1983, she played the mother of Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) in Scarface. She was also cast as "María" in the 1999 film Gloria, which starred Sharon Stone. In 2013, Colón was cast in the role of Ultima, a New Mexico Hispanic healer, in the movie "Bless Me, Ultima" based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya.
Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
In the late 1960s, Colón founded The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater company on West 47th street in Manhattan, New York. The company presents Off-Broadway productions onsite and goes on tour. She was the director of the company and she has appeared in these PRTT productions:
Personal life and death
Colón was married to George Paul Edgar from 1966 until his death in 1976. She lived the final years of her life in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her second husband Fred Valle. Her biography, titled Míriam Colón: Actor and Theater Founder, was written by Mayra Fernandez in 1994.
- Los Peloteros (1951) as Lolita
- Danger (TV 1955)
- Star Tonight (TV 1955)
- Crowded Paradise (1956)
- The Big Story (TV 1957) as Esperanza Martinez
- Decoy (TV 1958) as Maria
- Studio One (TV 1956-1958) as Mrs. Talavera / Rosie
- Lux Playhouse (TV 1959) as Mrs. Flores
- State Trooper (TV 1959) as Francesca
- Markham (TV 1959) as Esperanza
- Mike Hammer (TV 1959) as Tarano
- The Outsider (1961) as Anita
- Battle at Bloody Beach (1961) as Nahni
- One-eyed Jacks (1961) as "Redhead"
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Episode - Strange Miracle (TV 1962)
- The Defenders (TV 1962)
- Doctor Kildare (TV 1962)
- The New Breed (TV 1962)
- The Richest Man in Bogota on The DuPont Show of the Week (TV 1962) as Marina
- The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV 1963)
- The Great Adventure (TV 1963)
- Ben Casey (TV 1963)
- Death Valley Days (TV 1963)
- Laramie (TV 1963)
- Have Gun - Will Travel (TV 1963)
- Thunder Island (1963) as Anita Chavez
- Harbor Lights (1963) as Gina Rosario
- Slattery's People (TV 1964)
- The Nurses (TV 1964)
- The Legend of Jesse James (TV 1966)
- The Appaloosa (1966) as Ana
- Christmas in the Marketplace (TV film 1967)
- The Virginian (TV 1967)
- The Fugitive (TV 1967)
- N.Y.P.D. (TV 1967)
- Gunsmoke: Episode – Zavala (TV 1968) as Amelita Avila
- The High Chaparral (TV 1968)
- One Life to Live (TV soap opera 1968)
- Desperate Mission (TV film 1969)
- Bonanza (TV 1969)
- All My Children (TV soap opera 1970)
- They Call It Murder (1971)
- Gunsmoke (TV, Episode 2, Season 18) "The River" (1972) as "Paulette".
- The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972) as Veronica
- Sanford & Son: Episode - Julio and Sister and Nephew (TV 1974) as Carlotta
- Dr. Max (TV 1974)
- The Hemingway Play (TV film 1976)
- A Life of Sin (1979)
- The Edge of Night (TV soap opera 1979) as Dr. Marie Santos
- ABC Afterschool Specials (TV 1981)
- Back Roads (1981) as Angel
- Scarface (1983) as Mama Montana
- Best Kept Secrets (TV film 1984)
- Lady Blue (TV 1985)
- Kay O'Brien (TV 1986)
- Highway to Heaven (TV 1987)
- Deadline: Madrid (TV film 1988)
- Lightning Field (TV film 1991)
- Law and Order (TV 1991)
- L.A. Law (TV 1991)
- City of Hope (1991) as Mrs. Ramirez
- Murder, She Wrote: Episode - "Day of the Dead" (season 8.19) (1992) as Consuela Montejano
- The House of the Spirits (1993) as Nana
- NYPD Blue (TV 1994)
- The Cosby Mysteries (TV 1994)
- Streets of Laredo (TV mini-series 1995)
- Sabrina (1995) as Rosa
- Lone Star (1996) as Mercedes Cruz
- Cosby (TV 1996)
- Mistrial (TV film 1996)
- Edipo alcalde (1996)
- Gloria (1999) as María
- All the Pretty Horses (2000) as Doña Alfonsa
- For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (TV film 2000)
- Almost a Woman (2001)
- Third Watch (TV 2001)
- The Blue Diner (2001) as Meche
- Guiding Light (TV soap opera 2001)
- Goal! (2005) as Mercedes
- Jonny Zero (TV 2005)
- Goal! 2: Living the Dream... (2007)
- The Cry (2007)
- Goal! 3: Taking on the World (2009)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV 2009)
- How to Make It in America (TV 2010-2011)
- Foreverland (2011)
- Hawthorne (TV 2011)
- Gun Hill Road (2011)
- The Bay (2012)
- The Girl Is in Trouble (2012)
- Unhallowed (in production 2013)
- Bless Me, Ultima (2013)
- On Painted Wings (not distributed 2014)
- The Southside (2014)
- Top Five (2014) as Chelsea's Grandmother
- Better Call Saul (TV 2015)
- In The Summer House (1954)
- The Innkeepers (1956)
- The Wrong Way Lightbulb (1969)
In 1993, Colón received an "Obie Award" for "Lifetime Achievement in the Theater." In 2000, she received the HOLA Raúl Juliá Founders Award, presented by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA).
- This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Colón and the second or maternal family name is Valle.
- Kelley, Seth (March 4, 2017). "Miriam Colon, Latina Film and Theater Pioneer Known for 'Scarface,' Dies at 80". Varitey. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- "Miriam Colón".
- Bosworth 1971, p. D5.
- Garfield 1980, p. 277.
- Moreno 1989, p. 30.
- "Danny en 'Coincidencias'… y en San Juan". 31 October 2014.
- "Miriam Colon Biography (1945-)". Film Reference Library. Toronto: TIFF Bell Lightbox. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- "The Richest Man in Bogota". TV Guide. 10 (24). June 16–22, 1962.
- Associated Press (March 3, 2017). "Miriam Colon, iconic U.S. Latina movie, theater actress, dies at 80". Daily News. New York City: Daily News, L.P. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
- The Ox Cart at the Internet off-Broadway Database
- The Boiler Room at the Internet off-Broadway Database
- Gates, Anita (March 5, 2017). "Miriam Colón, 80, Actress and Founder of Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Dies". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- Fernandez, Mayra (1994). Míriam Colón: Actor and Theater Founder. London: Modern Curriculum Press, Inc. ASIN B000VI81AC.
- Contreras, Russell (March 3, 2017). "U.S. News: Miriam Colón, Iconic US Latina Movie, Theater Actress, Dies". U.S. News & World Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Associated Press. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- Bosworth, Patricia (September 12, 1971). "'Look, Let's Have Justice Around Here'". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. p. D5. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York City: MacMillan. p. 277. ISBN 978-0025426504.
- Moreno, Sylvia (June 13, 1989). "Lessons Feature Hispanic `Heroes'". Newsday. Melville, New York: Patrick & Charles Dolan and Altice USA. p. 30. Retrieved December 13, 2012.