Carmen Zapata (Carmen Margarita Zapata)

Carmen Zapata

Carmen Margarita Zapata (July 15, 1927 – January 5, 2014) was an American actress. Zapata was born in New York City to a Mexican father and an Argentine mother.  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.  In 2003, Zapata received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Zapata died on January 5, 2014 from heart problems. She was eighty-six.

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  • July, 15, 1927
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • January, 05, 2014
  • USA
  • Los Angeles County, California

Cause of Death

  • Heart problems

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