Elizabeth Pena died from complications related to alcohol abuse: report The late actress died from 'cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol,' according to TMZ, citing her death certificate. BY Kirthana Ramisetti NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:35 PM A A A Steve Snowden/Getty Images Actress Elizabeth Pena died Oct. 14 at age 55. Elizabeth Pena died from medical complications related to alcohol abuse, according to a report. The 55-year-old TV and movie star stunned Hollywood when she passed away last week, and TMZ is reporting that the Elizabeth, N.J. native died from “cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol.” Citing the actress’ death certificate, the site reports that the “La Bamba” star had the disease for several months before succumbing to it. TMZ also reports that Pena suffered “acute gastrointestinal bleeding hours before her death,” eventually causing her heart to stop. ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection/©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Eve Elizabeth Pena's breakthrough role was in the 1987 film ‘La Bamba.’ Enlarge ABC Elizabeth Pena as Gloria's (Sofia Vergara) mother on 'Modern Family.' Enlarge Pena, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, had a prolific 35-year acting career that began in the late 1970s. Several years later she scored her breakthrough role in the 1987 Richie Valens biopic "La Bamba." She kept a high profile in television and film over the years with roles in films such as "Tortilla Soup," "Jacob's Ladder" and "Rush Hour." Most recently, she filmed a guest apperance as Sofia Vergara's mother on "Modern Family" and starred in the first season of "Matador" on the El Rey Network. The actress' passing was mourned by her several of her famous fans and co-stars, including from "La Bamba" star Lou Diamond Phillips. Elizabeth Pena, 'La Bamba' actress, dead at 55 NY Daily News "I am stunned and heartbroken, just found out about the passing of my friend Elizabeth Pena," he tweeted. "She was such a Life Force it's hard to believe." Pena is survived by her husband, two children, mother and sister.