Lupe Ontiveros, who died Thursday at age 69, was an actress whom many knew from her comedic supporting roles in movies and television. But Ontiveros was also a long-standing member of the Los Angeles theater community and served as a founding board member of the Latino Theater Company in downtown L.A.
Ontiveros helped found the company in 1985 and acted in many of its productions over the years. Her most recent appearance was in 2010 in a revival production of "La Victima," written by El Teatro de la Esperanza, at the New L.A. Theatre Center.
Jose Luis Valenzuela, the company's artistic director, described Ontiveros as an amazing talent. "She was very supportive of theater and always wanted to be attached to the theater company as her home," he said in an interview.
"She had phenomenal energy. I never thought anything could stop her. She was really funny and a very loyal friend."
Ontiveros appeared in the world premiere production of "Zoot Suit," by Luis Valdez, at the Mark Taper Forum in 1978 and later at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood. She also appeared in the Broadway transfer of the play in 1979.