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Belita Moreno (born November 1, 1951) is an Americanmarker actress perhaps best known for her role as Benita "Benny" Lopez on the long-running ABC sitcom The George Lopez Show.

Early life

Moreno was born in Dallas, Texasmarker, and named Aurabela. Both of her parents, Abel Moreno and Aurora (née Fernandez Rodriguez), a high school teacher, came to the U.S. from Mexicomarker. They raised Moreno in Dallas, where she graduated from Justin F. Kimball High School, and went on to major in Theatre at Southern Methodist Universitymarker. She continued her acting studies at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California, where she appeared on stage in the play Once Upon A Mattress. Moreno married Joel Rudnick, an agent with the Paradigm Talent Agency, with whom she had two children. Moreno lives in Santa Monica, Californiamarker.

Career

Soon after Moreno arrived in Los Angelesmarker to pursue her acting career, she met director Robert Altman, and landed roles in three of his films: 3 Women, A Wedding, and A Perfect Couple. She has also appeared in many other films, including Mommy Dearest, Swing Shift, Oh God! You Devil, Nobody's Fool, Men Don’t Leave, Clear and Present Danger, and Grosse Pointe Blank.

Moreno was a regular on the long-running ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers from 1986 to 1992, having briefly appeared as the recurring character Edwina Twinkacetti, and then in a regular role for five seasons as advice columnist Lydia Markham. Her work on television includes appearances in television movies, such as Crazy From the Heart and Death Benefit, the mini-series Tales of the City, and in numerous sitcoms and dramatic series, including The Golden Girls, Family Ties, Valerie, and Melrose Place. Moreno played Benita "Benny" Lopez on The George Lopez Show from 2002 to 2007. On the show, the character of "Benny" is the mother of the character played by comedian George Lopez, although off-screen Moreno is actually only ten years older than Lopez.

During the 1980s, Moreno was a favorite of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley. Moreno performed in at least four premieres of Henley's plays. Henley created several roles specifically for Moreno: "Popeye" in The Miss Firecracker Contest, some dialogue of which was based on a true story told to the playwright by Moreno, and "Lacey Rollins" in the two-act play The Lucky Spot. Moreno performed in Firecracker at the Victory Theater in Burbank, Californiamarker, in 1980, and in Lucky Spot off-Broadway at New York Citymarker's Manhattan Theatre Clubmarker in 1987.

Moreno also appeared in Henley's 1982 Broadwaymarker premiere of The Wake of Jamey Foster, as "Katty Foster," directed by Ulu Grosbard at New York City's Eugene O'Neill Theatermarker, and her 1989 world premiere of Abundance, as "Macon," at the South Coast Repertorymarker in Costa Mesa, Californiamarker.

Since the early 1990s, Moreno has served as acting coach and advisor on numerous films, such as Jerry Maguire, Rush Hour 2, Almost Famous, Parent Trap, The Family Man, Crossroads, and 17 Again. Her coaching clients have included Rene Zellweger, Kate Hudson, Aaron Eckhart, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky, Lindsay Lohan, Diane Keaton, Chris Tucker, Eminem, Britney Spears, and Usher, among others.

Film Credits



Television Credits



References

  1. SMU Theatre Department Alumni at Southern Methodist University official website
  2. PCPA Theaterfest History
  3. Belita Moreno Biography from Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County official website
  4. Enlightened by Our Afflictions: Portrayals of Disability in the Comic Theatre of Beth Henley and Martin McDonagh, by M. Beth Meszaros, Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol 23, No 3/4 (2003)
  5. Online link to The Plays Of Beth Henley: A Critical Study, by Gene A. Plunka. Published by McFarland & Company, 2005.
  6. Belita Moreno Credits at Variety.com
  7. Belito Moreno Credits at Hollywood.com


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