|Born||Carmen Margarita Zapata
July 15, 1927
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 5, 2014
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ron Friedman (1957-1963) (divorced)|
Zapata made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Oklahoma! in 1946. 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."
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.
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.
- 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"
- Candelaria, Cordelia (2004-01-01). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313332104.
- Actress Carmen Zapata Dies at 86: Hollywood Reporter website; retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Lowe Kilmer. "Celebrities" (column), Watertown Daily Times (New York), October 7, 2003, Lifestyles & Leisure section, page B2.
- 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.'"
- "Viva Valdez". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 12, 2014.