Elizabeth Pena

J. Vespa/WireImage

Elizabeth Peña suffered in silence.

The 55-year-old actress' death on Oct. 14 was caused by cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, according to the death certificate obtained Tuesday by E! News.

Per the document, Peña, who recently played Sofia Vergara's mother on Modern Family, had battled the disease for months but she ultimately developed acute gastrointestinal bleeding just hours before suffering cardiac arrest. She passed away at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with her death initially being attributed to a brief illness.

Elizabeth Pena, Modern Family


On the death certificate, her profession was listed as "actress" and her field was "entertainment."

As of last week, funeral plans were still pending.

"Tonight, my family is heartbroken,'' her nephew Mario-Francisco Robles wrote in an obituary posted on Latino Review's website. "There's now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life and your never-ending pursuit of happiness.''

Peña's death also prompted an outpouring of tributes from friends and fellow actors, including Vergara, Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana. She appeared on dozens of TV shows over the years and her biggest films included La Bamba, *batteries not included, Blue Steel, Lone Star and The Incredibles, in which she voiced Mirage.

She is survived by husband Hans Rolla, two children, her mother, a sister and other extended family.

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