Elizabeth Pena’s cause of death has been determined as complications relating to alcohol abuse.
The Modern Family and La Bamba actress died on Tuesday 13 October, aged 55. Her death was first attributed to “natural causes”, but her death certificate – obtained by TMZ – confirms that Pena had been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver “due to alcohol”.
She had reportedly been battling the disease for months, but suffered acute gastrointestinal bleeding, which caused her heart to stop.
The Cuban-American actress was known for her television and film career. She played the mother of Sofia Vergara in US television series Modern Family and her film credits include La Bamba, Rush Hour, Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Lone Star. She also loaned her voice to the character Mirage in The Incredibles.
She is survived by her husband, two children, mother and sister.
Eva Longoria tweeted after Pena’s death that the actress “had paved the way for so many of us”, while Zoe Saldana, upon hearing the news, tweeted “my heart is broken”.
“Her singular focus was breathtaking, and awe-inspiring,” wrote her nephew Mario-Francisco Robles for Latin-Review last week, adding that his family were “heartbroken”.
“There's now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humour, your endless hunger for life, and your never ending pursuit of happiness.”Reuse content