Lupe Ontiveros, shown here with Eva Longoria. (Photo/Getty Images)

Latino leaders, friends, honor Lupe Ontiveros at funeral

Family and friends of the late actress Lupe Ontiveros, including prominent Latinos in the arts and government, gathered at the St. Hilary Church of Perpetual Adoration to say goodbye to an actress who reached great acclaim, yet never forgot where she came from or what she represented.

“She took roles many people would have turned down, and she hung in there, trying to break the ceiling there for Latinos in the industry, the media industry,” said civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta, remembering Ontiveros, who passed away on July 26 at the age of 69. Huerta also said her friend was always ready to give back to the community.

The funeral service took place in the same church in Pico Rivera where the “Desperate Housewives” and “Selena” star attended mass for 30 years.

Ontiveros holds a special place among Latinos, who acknowledge her trailblazing in Hollywood roles.

Describing the rosary service a day earlier, acclaimed cartoonist and humorist and NBC Latino contributor Lalo Alcaraz said, “She was beloved because of her approachable, down to earth nature, and the dignity which she tried to infuse into any role she played. The church was packed with fans and tributes because everyone continues to love her.”

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