SAG-AFTRA mourns the loss of Carmen Zapata. While best known for her roles in Sister Act and Santa Barbara, she was especially fond of her nine seasons on the bilingual PBS children's show, Villa Alegre. A union leader and trailblazer in Latino entertainment, Zapata co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee in 1972 and served as a national board member from 1972-77. Her critical and groundbreaking work with the Ethnic Minority Committee is continued by the National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee and the National Spanish Language Media Committee. Dedicated to furthering Hispanic culture in the arts, Zapata co-founded The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) in 1973, which today provides the community of Los Angeles bilingual theater as well as education and training for artists. As a testament to her legacy as a humanitarian, Zapata wished to be remembered as an educator.
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