Actress Edith Diaz dies at 70

Credits include 'Sister Act' films and CBS' 'Popi' sitcom

Edith Diaz, who appeared in the two "Sister Act" films and on landmark CBS sitcom "Popi," died Dec. 19 of heart failure in Los Angeles. She was 70.

Diaz' credits also include such films as "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989), "Nick of Time" (1995) and more recently "First Watch" (2003) and "Oh Baby!" (2008).

On television, she guest-starred on scores of shows like "St. Elsewhere," "The Twilight Zone" and "All in the Family" and played Mother Arnaz in the 1991 telefilm "Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter."

"Popi," starring Hector Elizondo as a Puerto Rican widower, ran for 11 episodes from 1975-76. It was one of the first U.S. network series with a Latino theme.

A native of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Diaz studied with Stella Adler and the Actors Studio in New York. She was a founding member of the SAG Ethnic Minorities Committee in 1972 with Carmen Zapata, Henry Darrow and Ricardo Montalban.

"Edith will be remembered as a gifted performer, a union Latino rights activist and a loving friend," said actress Miluka Rivera, who serves on the SAG minorities committee and is coordinating a memorial for Diaz to take place next month.

Survivors include her brother, Arcadio Diaz Quinones; her sister, Nilsa; and two nephews and four nieces.