A character actress who had a long career in television and movies, including a regular role on the NBC soap opera "Santa Barbara" in the 1980s, has died. Deadline.com reports that Carmen Zapata died Sunday at 86.
In a career going back to the late 1960s, Zapata appeared in films including "Portnoy’s Complaint" and “Sister Act” and was on dozens of TV shows. She played the mayor for nine seasons on the bilingual PBS show “Villa Alegre.”
She appeared as Mrs. Castillo on "Santa Barbara" from 1985-1989, and had a lead role on the short-lived ABC summer replacement series "Viva Valdez," a comedy about a Mexican-American family in East Los Angeles, in 1976.
Her other TV credits included “Bonanza,” “Love, American Style” and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” among many others. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
Along with her work on the screen, Zapata was known for her humanitarian efforts, including co-founding the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee.