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Actress Carmen Zapata dies at 86

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Jan 06, 2014 | 8:59pm EST

Actress Carmen Zapata has died at the age of 86. Zapata passed away on Sunday (05Jan14) at her home in Van Nuys, California after suffering from a heart condition. Over her six-decade career, she appeared on Broadway, in multiple TV series, including U.S. soap opera Santa Barbara, and also starred as one of the choir nuns in the Sister Act films. Zapata also co-founded the Los Angeles' Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in 1973 along with actress, playwright and director Margarita Galban. The organisation was created in order to produce Spanish-language productions to instill cultural pride with Spanish-speaking audiences, while introducing the Hispanic culture to English-speaking crowds. A theatre in the Lincoln Heights neighbourhood of Los Angeles is named after Zapata, where many of the Foundation's shows are held. In 1990, the native New Yorker was knighted by King Juan Carlos of Spain and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.

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