On this day in comedy on September 27, 1947 Comedienne, Actress, Singer, Elizabeth Larrieu “Liz” Torres was born in the Bronx.
The multi-talented Torres got her start in comedy. She’d made a low budget film in 1969 playing a whore, but that cinematic debut did not lead to a film career. Whereas being a comedienne gave her the freedom to expose her strengths when she’d hit the night club circuit (along with her buddy Bette Midler) and that’s where she got noticed. Torres was seen by a scout for “The Tonight Show” (the version starring Johnny Carson) and invited to do a skit on the show. That did lead to other work.
Torres became a member of the Addams Family. She played Morticia in the musical version, “Addams Family Funhouse” in 1973. Guest spots ensued and by 1975 she was Julie Erskine on “Phyllis” starring Cloris Leachman. That same year she recorded a disco single, “Hustle Latino” and performed it on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand”. He had a recurring role on “All in the Family” and co-starred with Marla Gibbs in the sitcom “Checking In” in 1981. That spin-off of “The Jeffersons” didn’t last long, but no matter, Torres kept working. She appeared in “Love, American Style”, “Ally McBeal” and in 1990 was nominated for an Emmy for her work on “The Famous Teddy Z”.
Torres also worked in the theater. She was featured in “The Ritz”, “Man of LaMancha” and “A Million to Juan”. In 1993 she began working on “The John Larroquette Show”, where Torres received multiple acting nominations for her role of Mahalia Sanchez. In 1997 she found herself on CBS on the sitcom, “Over the Top”. From 2000-2007 Torres performed the role of Miss Patty LaCosta on “The Gilmore Girls”.
Liz Torres kept jobs. In between doing her own shows and her recurring parts, she was a serial guest starrer. Torres has had roles on “Desperate Housewives”, “Private Practice”, “Scandal” and “Devious Maids” and “Ugly Betty”.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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