Mexican actor Carmen Salinas died on Friday at 82, following a battle with cancer. She was best known for playing Salma Hayek’s mother in “Funny Girl,” based on Fanny Brice’s comic books. She was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1967 film, which was made on a $500,000 budget.
Salinas, an immigrant from the south of Mexico City, also played a matriarch in the television series “Pena Blanca” and was on the cast of “The Disney Series (Lucidos).”
Last year, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent surgery to remove a large tumor, the Daily News reported.
“I told myself, ‘You have the actress, you have the artist and you have the star,’” Salinas said at the time. “And, I concluded: ‘Yes, it’s me who is afflicted.’ But I was determined not to let the cancer take the place of what I want to continue doing. I wanted to improve my health.”
In an interview with Univision, Salinas said: “I made ‘Funny Girl’ when I was 41. If I were 40 years old now, instead of this lady from the south who has been here for 30 years, I would be a little old and without the character I have in my heart.”
According to a statement released by Salinas’ representatives, she will be remembered as “a spirited, loyal, dedicated, passionate and tremendously talented professional.”
Salinas is survived by two children, Rosie and Yvette, and two grandchildren.
Carmen Salinas was among America’s first Latino actresses to gain widespread recognition
Read the tribute to Salinas’ life and work