Actress Lupe Ontiveros, who died of liver cancer last week at the age of 69, will be buried in Whittier on Friday in services open to the public.
A rosary open to the public will be held today, Thursday, from 7 p.m. to 9:30p.m. at St. Hilary’s Church at 5465 Citronell Ave. in Pico Rivera, where Ontiveros lived, a publicist announced.
Also open to the public will be a funeral Mass at St. Hilary’s starting at 10 a.m. Friday and the interment ceremony that will immediately follow at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary at 3888 Workman Mill Rd in Whittier, a statement said.
Ontiveros earned an Emmy nomination for her work in “Desperate Housewives, but her biggest claim to fame was playing the role of Yolanda Saldivar, the leader of Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s fan club who wound up killing the famed singer — who was portrayed in the film “Selena” by Jennifer Lopez.
“I am tremendously saddened by the news of Lupe’s passing,’’ Lopez said in a statement posted on her website. “She was a great actress and working with her in ‘Selena’ was an unforgettable experience. She will truly be missed.”
Ontiveros was a founder of the Latino Theater Company in downtown Los Angeles and was a mentor for countless Latino performers.
“Her iconic roles and larger-than-life personality helped to blaze a trail, specifically for Latina actresses, and nobly represented working-class characters,’’ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “As a founding member of the downtown Latino Theater Company, her artistic contributions will continue to enrich the lives of Angelenos.”
A native of El Paso, Texas, she is believed to have played maids or domestic servants hundreds of times in film, television and theater productions.
Donations can be made in Ontiveros’s name to the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. For more information, contact Rachel Braver of GLAD at (323) 550-4274 and LATC Artistic Director Jose Luis Valenzuela at (213) 489-0994.
Ontiveros is survived by her husband, three sons and two granddaughters.