The cast and crew of the Showtime television series Resurrection Blvd were shocked to hear of the passing of their colleague and friend Elizabeth Pena who played the role of Bibi Corrales in the series that ran for three years. Below are some personal remembrances of Elizabeth by her friends.
I knew her way before she knew me…we all did…I could on and on about her amazing career for instance how mad sexy she was in JACOBS LADDER …how likable and charming she was in BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED…or the heartbreak she took us all on in LA BAMBA…but that’s what a consummate actor she was …I learned early on in working with her to bring my A GAME you don’t want to be caught sleeping and miss all she brings to the party …
But that was work … what was most endearing to me was her humanity and her great sense humor
when i directed my first episode on Resurrection blvd she was without a doubt making me look very good while still being her wonderful self always so full of life…
In between filming on Resurrection Blvd. Elizabeth and I would trade the dirtiest of jokes to crack each other up.
Her delivery was so dry and matter of fact she would get me to crack up many times before I could get her to.
But when I did get her to crack…what a feeling. The things we miss…Her laugh…Miss you titi Bebe
I know I am not alone when I say that Elizabeth Peña occupied a very specific corner of my mind growing up. Her performance in “Jacob’s Ladder” fueled more than a few of my feverish, boyhood fantasies. And in “La Bamba”, I fell in love with Rosie instead of Donna. (Apologies to Danielle von Zerneck). Had you asked me then, in my wildest of dreams, I never would have been able to predict a future where I would have the honor of not only working with Elizabeth Peña, but also loving Elizabeth Peña, the woman. Though we spent 3 years as a family, thanks to the mind of Dennis Leoni and his creation of “Resurrection Blvd.”, It wasn’t until roughly 7 years later on yet another set that we truly connected. Blame it on my youth, but Elizabeth didn’t suffer fools lightly…this one included.
So cut to 2010, and I, with a few more years of age and experience, was fortunate to work with her again. We played a cocaine growing mother and son team on the short-lived ABC series, “Off The Map”. Regardless of the show’s lack of success, we spent two incredible months together in Hawaii. Elizabeth came back into my life at a very pivotal time. I was full of questions and Elizabeth…well, boy was she full of answers! Our numerous meals together always ended with deeper conversations about career longevity, and the navigation of adulthood, love and family. I will be forever grateful to her for her sage advice and the countless laughs we shared along the way.
I’ll miss you mi tia (Bibi), mi madre (Inez), mi Elizabeth…“The first day on Resurrection Blvd. I was jumping up and down with absolute joy on the inside. My internal monologue was, “Oh my god, I get to work with Elizabeth Peña!” True story. Not that I wasn’t thrilled about everything and everyone else, but there was something about Elizabeth specifically. Maybe because she was a Latina, maybe because I had admired her for so long…for many reasons, I just couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to get to work side by side with her and her amazing talent. And, that feeling didn’t diminish over time. On the contrary; the moment I met her, I was hooked and my admiration for her only grew. She was real, and fierce, and honest, and generous, and fun, and funny, and such a team player. Where some folks we look up to disappoint, Elizabeth absolutely did not. Not only was she fiercely professional, she was also the coolest chick I had ever met. I loved her very much and she’s left us way too soon.
I first remember seeing Elizabeth in Crossover Dreams in a theater in NYC. She was great. I fell in love with her in Lonestar. And a few years later, I had the great fortune of working with her on Resurrection Blvd. And she was just as wonderful in real life as she was on film. Smart, direct, caring, funny with a great foul mouth. She was a real broad in the best sense of the word. I will miss her.
Elizabeth you are a pioneer, a true star, wonderful talent and most important a incredible human being. I admired her so much and learned so much from her on set. What an honor it was to have been part of television next to her. Words can not express how blessed and honored I feel to have called you my friend. I will miss you Peñita linda.
Elizabeth Pena…Sexy, intelligent, genuine, fun, bawdy. Eliabeth was a fearless and instinctive actor who did not suffer fools easily on set or off set. I feel so lucky to have worked creatively with such a talented actor who I already admired before I knew or worked with her. My heart goes out to her beloved family, friends and co-creative workers.
Ahhhh Ms. Pena. I loved her so much. Not only was working with her artistically amazing, but onscreen she’s one of the funniest, charismatic and beautiful people I knew. Her Aunt Bibi character was like a mother to me. When I first got Resurrection, I was still fairly green in this business and I was able to learn so much and grow as an actor throughout our three years by watching Elizabeth, learning from Elizabeth, and being directed by Elizabeth. I was so blessed to have been part of her glorious career. She will be missed on so many levels. We lost a good one. Rest in peace.
When I think of Elizabeth I remember that she always made me laugh. No matter what was going on, she was ready with a joke or a story to tell. And she was a fabulous storyteller. She really painted a picture for you. Most of stories she told me were about things that happened to her. There was always a lesson or some motherly advice she’d pass on in the telling too. Elizabeth was one of a kind.