STATEMENT: NHMC Remembers Iconic Latina Star Miriam Colón as Passionate and Patriotic Actress


CONTACT Clarissa Corona 213.718.0732

NHMC Remembers Iconic Latina Star Miriam Colón as Passionate and Patriotic Actress

Over the weekend, famed theater, film and television actress and producer Miriam Colón passed away peacefully, due to pulmonary complications. She was a stalwart supporter of universal access to the arts, founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest recognition for an artist in the United States, from President Barack Obama in 2015. Her death was announced by her husband Fred Valle and her funeral services will take place today. Said Marta Garcia, Vice Chair of the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “Miriam braved Hollywood in its most challenging years for Latinos. She did so on screen with grace and talent. Miriam unselfishly gave back to her community and served as a role model to many artists who wanted to join the ranks of this difficult industry. We will remember her passionate spirit, patriotism and contagious dramatic laughter.” In Hollywood, she joined the cast of popular television series such as Bonanza and Gunsmoke and of important films of the moment such as One-Eyed Jacks and The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando. She won over audiences, together with Al Pacino, in the role of Mama Montana in Brian De Palma’s Scarface. Other starring appearances were in John Sayles’ Lone Star and City of Hope, Billy Bob Thornton’s All The Pretty Horses, and the principal role in the film version of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me, Última. In 1967, Colón founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. At a time when there were no other models for producing bilingual theater, in Spanish and in English, Colón served and provided resources, education and training in the arts to youth and adults of Caribbean and Latin American origin. She was a pioneer in the field bringing to light hundreds of playwrights and important works. Throughout her formidable career she obtained numerable awards and recognitions, among them eight honoris causa doctoral degrees, Golden Agüeybaná, the GarcÍa Lorca Award from the University of Granada and the Image Award. In 2006, the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture dedicated its Theater Festival to her. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, she launched her career at the age of 12 and starred in her first film Los peloteros(The Baseball Players) for the legendary División de Educación de la Comunidad de Puerto Rico (DivEdCo). She studied at the Actors Studio in New York under Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg. Watch a film tribute showing some of Colón’s starring roles here: For more information about her life and her legacy, please contact the National Hispanic Media Coalition by emailing Courtney Holsworth at


The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.


National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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