Veteran actress Elizabeth Peña died from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse, according to reports.
E! News obtained the actress’ death certificate which said Peña battled the cirrhosis for months before developing acute gastrointestinal bleeding just hours before suffering cardiac arrest.
The 55-year-old passed away Oct. 14 at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her death was initially attributed to a brief illness.
Her nephew Mario-Francisco Robles wrote in obituary posted on Latino Review, “Tonight, my family is heartbroken. There’s now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life and your never-ending pursuit of happiness.”
Peña, a native of Elizabeth, N.J., with Cuban parents, had a career that spanned four decades with roles in several major films such as “La Bamba,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Jacob’s Ladder”, “Rush Hour” and “Lone Star.”
Most recently she appeared on “Modern Family” as Sofia Vergara’s mother and on El Rey Network’s drama, “Matador.”
Her death invoked many heartfelt tributes from Vergara, Eva Longoria, John Leguizamo and Zoe Saldaña, among others.
Peña’s “La Bamba” co-star, Lou Diamond Phillips, tweeted, “I am stunned and heartbroken, just found out about the passing of my friend Elizabeth Peña. She was such a life force it's hard to believe… Elizabeth was not only an amazing actress, she was one of the most vibrant, wonderful people I have ever known. My prayers to her family.”