Elizabeth Pena
Elizabeth Pena passed away at the age of 55. Getty

American actress and television director Elizabeth Pena passed away on 14 October at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 55.

The actress' death was first reported by her nephew, Mario-Francisco Robles on the website Latino Review, where he serves as a writer. He revealed that she died of natural causes after a brief illness.

Pena, whose career spanned more than four decades, recently worked on the first season of El Rey Network's Matador, where she plays Maritza, mother of the title character.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Elizabeth Pena," El Rey said in a statement. "She was a role model, a truly extraordinary performer and an inspiration in every sense of the word."

She also guest-starred in two episodes of Modern Family, as Pilar, the mother of Sofia Vergara's Gloria. Her many notable credits include La Bamba (1988), Rush Hour (1998) and The Incredibles (2004).

Celebrities took to their Twitter account to share their grief.

My heart is broken!!! My prayers are with you and your family. We will miss you #ElizabethPena –ZS

— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) October 16, 2014

Rest in Peace Elizabeth Pena...you paved the way for so many of us!! http://t.co/IiGf6JuxGf

— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) October 16, 2014

So devastated to hear about the passing of Elizabeth Pena. A lovely friend and wonderful actress. She will be truly missed.

— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) October 16, 2014

Elizabeth Peña was wonderful in everything she did. She shone so bright. An incredibly gifted actress. I loved her. Rest in Peace.

— Martha Plimpton (@MarthaPlimpton) October 16, 2014

Elizabeth Pena...So kind, talented and beautiful... U will stay strong in the hearts of your @MatadorElRey family 🌹 pic.twitter.com/F5qZtMwzkD

— Nicky Whelan (@NickyWhelan) October 16, 2014

Actress Elizabeth Pena Dies at 55 http://t.co/6WzGVPxSXV via @THR A fighter, and a great woman. RIP Elizabeth

— Frances Fisher (@Frances_Fisher) October 16, 2014

I remember well #ElizabethPena fr the movie Down & out in Beverly Hills. I was so in love ;) RIP beautiful soul ;( pic.twitter.com/1ZuSBFNq0K

— Gilles Marini (@GillesMarini) October 16, 2014

RIP #ElizabethPeña. An actress I grew up admiring & had the pleasure of working with & hiring on… http://t.co/9zs6CxgIuk

— Freddy Rodriguez (@FreddyRdriguez) October 16, 2014

#ElizabethPena R.I.P one those super rare talents and great human being! She will be immortalized in #sueno and #nothingLIKEtheHolidays!

— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) October 16, 2014

Elizabeth Pena , May your beautiful soul " Rest in Peace " with love and respect

— George Lopez (@georgelopez) October 16, 2014

Elizabeth Pena...a ferociously funny, fierce and singular actress. A beautiful woman who has gone way too soon... I miss you already - RIP

— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 16, 2014

I am stunned and heartbroken, just found out about the passing of my friend Elizabeth Pena. She was such a Life Force it's hard to believe.

— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) October 16, 2014

Aw...damn. Elizabeth Pena was a wonderful actress and even lovelier person. My thoughts are with her family.

— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) October 16, 2014