The members of Showtime’s ground breaking Latino drama series, Resurrection Blvd, felt the loss of our dear friend and co-worker, Elizabeth Peña, particularly hard. She was, after all, the colleague and friend, the vibrant and vital life force with whom we had worked for the three years of the series.
Within a few hours we were all calling each, expressing our disbelief. How could it be? She was so young? She had so much more to do and give –in film, in theater, with her family, in life itself. We must talk. We must share the grief. We must, somehow, try to fathom it out, make sense of it all. Of one accord, we all agreed–we must get together. We must embrace her memory and ourselves.
The day after Elizabeth Peña passed away as small group of Elizabeth Peña’s friends gathered to remember her and embrace her spirit and vitality and life.
The creator of Resurrection Blvd, Dennis Leoni, and his wife Deborah were there. So also was, the Showtime executive who brought the series to life, Pancho Mansfield,. The director of the pilot and many episodes of the series, Jesús Treviño was also there. And of course, the principal cast of Resurrection Blvd, the other members of that special on-screen and behind the screen family were there to remember their departed sister. Tony Plan, Micheal De Lorenzo, Nicolas Gonzalez, Ruth Livier, Douglas Spain, Mauricio Mendoza, Marisol Nichols and Esai Morales.
More than one toast was given in her honor.
And we remembered her in our conversations, private and pubic.
Elizabeth beckoned to us all. Many of us hadn’t seen each other in years. And soon Elizabeth guided our mood to life at hand, to the life among us. The work we had yet to do, the future of our craft and the legacy we would leave for our people.
In spite of the loss, the night ended with rejoicing. And celebrating as Elizabeth would have wanted.
With abrazos, and kisses and hugs and an inspiration to go forward in life. As she would have wanted it.
Gracias Elizabeth for your life, artistry, friendship and inspiration.
Jesús Salvador Treviño