Colón was widely known for her roles on Scarface (as Al Pacino’s mom) and One Life to Live. The Boricua artist was born on Aug. 20, 1936 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and later arrived in New York City in 1953 to pursue acting. Soon after, she made history enrolling in the Actor’s Studio as its first Puerto Rican member ever.
In 1967 she founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, designed to help showcase young Latino artist. In 1981, she also founded the company’s permanent home on West 47th street named, the Pregones Theater Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
For her stellar achievements including starring in roles on Lone Star, Bless Me, Ultima, Gloria, How to Make It in America and Better Call Saul; President Obama honored her with the National Medal of Arts in 2015.
Colón was survived by her husband of 40 years, Fred Valle, who confirmed she passed due to complications from a pulmonary infection, according to the Associated Press.
“I was so proud of everything she accomplished,” Valle concluded.