Carmen Zapata

A prolific actress with a career spanning over six decades, Hispanic-American actress Carmen Zapata appeared in over 100 movies and television shows, including the groundbreaking children's show "Villa Alegre" (PBS ... Read more »
Born: 07/15/1927 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (50)

Fidel 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Sleepy Time Gal 2002 (Movie)

Anna (Actor)

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Fudge 1994 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Married... With Children 1988 - 1989, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 1997 Hispanic Heritage Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Common Law 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Gang Boys 1997 (Movie)

Roses (Actor)

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca 1997 (Movie)

Lorca's Mother (Actor)

Point of No Return 1993 (Movie)

Judge (Actor)

Santa Barbara 1983 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit 1993 (Movie)

Choir Nun (Actor)

Danielle Steel's "Secrets" 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Sister Act 1992 (Movie)

Choir Nun (Actor)

The Panama Deception 1992 (Movie)

English-language Voiceover (Actor)

Funny, You Don't Look 200 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

In the Shadow of the Law 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Narrator

Broken Angel 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

La Ofrenda: Days of the Dead 1986 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Children of Divorce 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

How to Beat the High Cost of Living 1980 (Movie)

Mama Figueroa (Actor)

One Last Ride 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Boulevard Nights 1979 (Movie)

Mrs Landeros (Actor)

Flying High 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

There Goes the Bride 1978 (Movie)

Mrs Ramirez (Actor)

A Home of Our Own 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Viva Valdez 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Winner Take All 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Boss Nigger 1974 (Movie)

Marguerita (Actor)

I Will... I Will... For Now 1974 (Movie)

Maid (Actor)

W 1974 (Movie)

Betty (Actor)

Keeping an Eye on Denise 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Charleston Charlie 1972 (Movie)

Lottie (Actor)

The Man and the City 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Hail, Hero! 1969 (Movie)

Juana (Actor)

Daniel and the Towers (TV Show)

Actor

Hagen (TV Show)

Actor

Homeward Bound (TV Show)

Actor

How to Murder a Millionaire (TV Show)

Actor

Leave Yesterday Behind (TV Show)

Actor

Like Normal People (TV Show)

Actor

Not Just Another Affair (TV Show)

Actor

Shark Kill (TV Show)

Actor

The Couple Takes a Wife (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A prolific actress with a career spanning over six decades, Hispanic-American actress Carmen Zapata appeared in over 100 movies and television shows, including the groundbreaking children's show "Villa Alegre" (PBS 1973-1980) and the '90s comedy hits "Sister Act" (1992) and "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993). Zapata was born on July 15, 1927 in New York City. She made her Broadway debut in the chorus of "Oklahoma" in 1946, and subsequently spent most of her early career in stock roles in theaters. She also dabbled in stand-up comedy, performing in hotels and clubs across the country as "Marge Cameron" to evade discrimination due to her ethnicity. Zapata's first feature film was "Hail, Hero!" (1969), a generation-gap drama starring a young Michael Douglas. Zapata was a passionate proponent of equality for Hispanic-Americans in Hollywood; her efforts to combat discrimination led her to co-found the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee with fellow actors Ricardo Montalban, Edith Diaz and Henry Darrow in 1972, and The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in the following year. In 1973, she was cast in the PBS children's program "Villa Alegre," the first bilingual show in American television. Zapata starred as the mayor of the show's eponymous town for nearly seven years. Although she was an incredibly versatile actress, she was often used for token ethnic roles. She finally landed a recurring role on a television series when she was cast as Mrs. Castillo in the popular soap opera "Santa Barbara" (NBC 1984-1993), the first soap to include a Latino family in its main cast. In the '90s, Zapata was seen shaking things up as a musical nun alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the smash comedy hit "Sister Act" and its sequel. In 2002, she appeared in the made-for-TV historical biopic "Fidel," after which she retired from showbiz. A year after her last on-screen appearance, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to live theater. On January 5, 2014, Zapata passed away from heart failure in her Van Nuys home at the age of 86.

Milestones

2003

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theater

2002

Last credited role in the TV movie "Fidel"

1992

Appeared as the Choir Nun in "Sister Act"

1985

Cast as Mrs. Castillo in "Santa Barbara"

1973

Starred in the TV series "Villa Alegre" (PBS)

1968

Feature film debut in "Hail, Hero!"

1946

Made her Broadway debut in the chorus of "Oklahoma"

Bonus Trivia

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Passionate reformer of ethnic equality in Hollywood

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