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Carmen Margarita Zapata (July 15, 1927 – January 5, 2014) was an American actress. Zapata was born in New York City to Julio Zapata, a Mexican immigrant, and Ramona Roca, an Argentine.[1][2]

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, U.S.
Died January 5, 2014(2014-01-05) (aged 86)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1946–2002
Spouse(s) Ron Friedman (1957-1963) (divorced)

Zapata made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Oklahoma! in 1946.[3] 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."[4][5]

In 1972, Zapata co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee with actors Ricardo Montalban, Edith Diaz, and Henry Darrow. In 1973, she co-founded the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) with 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 East Los Angeles, California.[6]

In 2003, Zapata received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[3]

She also sings in the song "Te quiero puta" by the German band Rammstein, on the album Rosenrot



Zapata died on January 5, 2014 from heart disease; she was 86 years old.[3]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ Candelaria, Cordelia (2004-01-01). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313332104. 
  3. ^ a b c Actress Carmen Zapata Dies at 86: Hollywood Reporter website; retrieved January 17, 2014.
  4. ^ Lowe Kilmer. "Celebrities" (column), Watertown Daily Times (New York), October 7, 2003, Lifestyles & Leisure section, page B2.
  5. ^ 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.'"
  6. ^ "Viva Valdez". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 

External linksEdit