Ontiveros passed on Thursday night following calls from actors all over Hollywood as well as political figures, including calls from Edward James Olmos and Hilda Solis, said Roy Cosme of Arcos Communications.
The Mexican-American actress built her career playing domestic workers, and in a 2009 interview with NPR said she had appeared as a maid more than 150 times in roles on shows like “Who’s the Boss.” Her near constant gigs made her one of the most recognizable Latina actresses in Hollywood.
One such recognizable role came later in life when she played Yolanda Saldivar, the woman convicted of killing Tejano superstar Selena in the blockbuster movie of the singer’s life.
TMZ reports that Ontiveros’ “Selena” co-star Jacob Vargas was at her bedside when she passed.
Actor Luis Guzman tweeted Friday, “R.I.P. Lupe Ontiveros thank you for all your work and being a Pioneer.”
Cosme, who serves on the board of the Latino Commission on AIDS, described Ontiveros as a community activist as much as a movie star, and a major voice in the Latino community’s ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS. In the past, Ontiveros was a co-host of the Latino Commission on AIDS’ fundraiser.