R.I.P. Lupe Ontiveros
July 29, 2012 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Lupe Ontiveros, the excellent, perpetually under-appreciated character actress, died Thursday at the age of 69.

She was frequently cast as a maid (over 150 times, by her estimation), often in thankless parts--she was a great actress who rarely got great roles. But when she got a good part, she killed it. She brought her steely eyes and amazing comic timing to Chuck and Buck and, more recently, Party Down. And she was in Goonies! She was awesome, and she'll be missed.
posted by Nibbly Fang (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
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She made Chuck and Buck--stole every scene, and gave the movie gravitas.
posted by oneironaut at 2:06 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by brundlefly at 2:11 PM on July 29, 2012


Chuck and Buck is one of my favorites. Selena was good, too.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:14 PM on July 29, 2012


Emmy and Independent Spirit Award nominated, critically acclaimed, National Board of Review award winner... I'm not sure she was really that underappreciated.

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posted by hippybear at 2:26 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


A celebration of her work - NALIP Lifetime Acheivement Award

RIP Lupe...
posted by samsara at 2:31 PM on July 29, 2012


She was great in Chuck and Buck. RIP.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 PM on July 29, 2012


I know her name because she was incredible enough in Chuck and Buck and Real Women Have Curves that I paid close attention to the credits. What a sad loss.

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posted by gusandrews at 2:46 PM on July 29, 2012


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posted by arcticseal at 2:46 PM on July 29, 2012


From the article:
“I’ve had a hell of a good time playing those maids,” she told LA Weekly in 2002. “Each one to me is very special ... No matter how much I resent the stupidity that is written into them, the audacity that the industry has when they portray us in such a nonsensical, idiotic, such — oh my God! — such a degrading manner, still, my humor survives in these maids. I’m very proud of them.”
posted by gusandrews at 2:47 PM on July 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Loved her work. Loved her shout-outs to women working as maids and caregivers. She'll be missed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:16 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure she was really that underappreciated.

By all accounts she felt differently than you, and I'd have to agree with her. When an excellent actress is made by her ethnic background to make a living by repeatedly playing variations on the same role, and the role is that of a goddamn maid, it's really not too difficult to see where the misuse lies.
posted by item at 3:36 PM on July 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 4:02 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Atreides at 4:02 PM on July 29, 2012


Character actors are in general under appreciated; I wish TV and Hollywood would make more room for them. And Ontiveros was an awesome actress. It's a shame she wasn't offered more diverse parts, and a CRYING shame that this is still an issue for non-white actors.
posted by smirkette at 4:04 PM on July 29, 2012


He wants to have sex with the porcupine, but it’s poking him.
posted by St. Sorryass at 4:05 PM on July 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Are maids scum or something?
posted by Brocktoon at 4:13 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by bjgeiger at 4:21 PM on July 29, 2012


Brocktoon:

A great Hispanic actress typecast as a maid, unable to break out. Does that not register for you as sad commentary of our expectations of a human life based on nothing but skin tone?
posted by roboton666 at 4:30 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is that a yes?
posted by Brocktoon at 5:03 PM on July 29, 2012


Brockton, Ontiveros explicitly honored people working as maids when she got recognition for playing a maid.

It would have been nice to see her playing more police officers, doctors, judges, teachers, business owners, painters, astronauts, members of Congress, journalists, whatever! as well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:03 PM on July 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are maids scum or something?

People go to the movies to see images of characters they aspire to be. Characters doing menial work are not often what moviegoers want to see, often because those moviegoers are in menial jobs, themselves, and the element of escapism is therefore lacking in such films. Likewise, actors and actresses themselves often aspire to play the highest profile roles they can — the doctors, the generals, the world leaders, etc. — to play roles that moviegoers want to see played. It isn't that playing the role of a maid is bad because maids are scum (they aren't) but because being artificially limited to certain roles is unfair to talented artists, to the audience, and to the possibilities of film and the narrative.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:51 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chuck and Buck is a movie that talked alot about sexuality and desire, things that are not spoken of, but the best thing about it, is how sweet, comforting, and funny Lupe made the performance.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:52 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Val_E_Yum at 6:06 PM on July 29, 2012


Mouth and Rosalita
posted by pjenks at 6:45 PM on July 29, 2012


Descansá en paz, Lupita.
posted by papafrita at 7:21 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:28 PM on July 29, 2012


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posted by liza at 9:14 PM on July 29, 2012


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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:56 AM on July 30, 2012


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