LOS ANGELES — Emmy-nominated actress Carmen Zapata, who started a foundation to promote Hispanic writers because jobs were so scarce, has died of heart problems, colleagues say. She was 86.
Zapata died Sunday at her Van Nuys-area home, said Luis Vela, marketing manager for the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in Los Angeles.
Zapata started her career in 1945 in the Broadway musical “Oklahoma” and went on to perform in “Bells Are Ringing,” ”Guys and Dolls” and many plays.
“She was an inspiration for me,” Vela said. “She taught me that art is the key to resolving differences in the community.”
He said Zapata was once asked how she wanted to be remembered — as an artist, producer or founder. “‘I prefer people remember us as educators,’” Vela recalled her saying.