Who is Liz Torres?
Liz Torres is an actress, comedian and singer, perhaps best known as Mahalia Sanchez in the sitcom “The “John Larroquette Show”. She’s also had notable roles in the popular TV series “Gilmore Girls”, “All in the Family”, and “Desperate Housewives”. Recently, she came into public focus for her drastic weight loss. Liz was born under the Zodiac sign Libra on 27 September 1947 in The Bronx, New York City, USA. As of 2021, she is 74 years old and holds American nationality. Liz is currently residing in Los Angeles.
Early life and Family
Besides the information that she was born to Puerto Rican immigrants, not much is known about her family and background. When she was a child, she became interested in singing and performing.
In her teenage days, she and her close friend Bette Midler performed stand-up comedy, and performed in various nightclubs in New York City. In 1971 she caught her lucky break when the producer of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” saw one of her performances, and invited her to do a skit on the show – the rest is history.
Regarding her education, she received her primary and secondary education in The Bronx, where she spent most of her life. Later, she attended New York University on a scholarship.
In 1973, she portrayed the iconic Morticia in “The Adams Family Fun House”, a musical version of the original show. In 1975, she landed the role as Julie Erskine, one of the main characters in the second season of the CBS sitcom “Phyllis”, which is a spin-off series from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.
The following year she was cast as Theresa Betancourt, a wise-cracking nurse in “The Jeffersons” spin-off series “All in The Family”. During the same year, she starred as a semi-regular cast member of the popular game show” Break the Bank”.
In 1981 Liz scooped the role as Elena Beltran in the American sitcom “Checking In”, appearing in four episodes alongside Marla Gibbs and Larry Linville, and later in the decade appeared in numerous shows and movies, including “Hill Street Blues”, “Mama’s Family”, and “Her Life as a Man”.
In 1990, she played Aunt Angie in the CBS sitcom “The Famous Teddy Z”, for which she received a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Happy 74th birthday, Liz Torres!40 years after she played Teresa on ALL IN THE FAMILY, she and Sally Struthers reunited on GILMORE GIRLS!What else have you seen her in?
In 1992, she was cast in the recurring role as the psychic in the short-lived sitcom “Tequila and Bonetti”, followed by her one-episode appearance in the award-winning series “Quantum Leap”, created by Donald Bellisario.
Her other Roles
In 1993 she booked the role as Mahlia Sanchez, one of the main characters in the sitcom “The Larroquette Show”, appearing in 84 episodes alongside John Larroquette. Her portrayal of Malia, John’s secretary, inevitably shot her fame, and it became her most recognized role. Her consistent and convincing portrayal garnered two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and a nomination for Golden Globe Award. She was also nominated for the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer in TV series.
In 1997 she won the Golden Eagle Award in the category Outstanding Actress in a Television series for her performance as Mahlia.
In 1997 she shared the screen with Annie Potts, Tim Curry and Steve Carell in the sitcom “Over the Top”, but which was canceled after three episodes. Later, she appeared in the legal drama series “First Monday”, then “American Family.
She marked the beginning of the new millennium with her role as Miss Patty La Costa, the dance instructor in the hit comedy-drama series “Gilmore Girls”, appearing from 2000 through 2007; her portrayal of Patty landed her the nomination for ALMA Awards in 2001 and 2006. She reprised her role in the sequel entitled “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” (2016).
Her other notable roles include several popular shows such as “Ugly Betty”, “Desperate Housewives”, and “Private Practice”.
Career in Theater
In addition to her sweeping charisma, humor, and talent, Liz also made her way to the theater, performing in several plays and productions.
She portrayed Googie Gomez in the comedic farce “The Ritz”, Aldonza in the musical “Man of La Mancha”, and Bunny in the play “The House of Blue Leaves”. In 1994 she played Mrs. Delgado in “A Million to Juan”. Her other lightweight roles include in “Bye Bye Birdie” and “See-Saw”.
She also launched a career as a singer – in 1975 she recorded a disco single entitled “Hustle Latino” under RCA records, and later performed it on “American Bandstand”. She also displayed her singing abilities in portraying “Cat in the musical special “Pinocchio”. Even though her vocal technique received praise, her musical career was short-lived, as she never released another song.
Where is she now?
Since appearing in the premiere for “Gilmore Girls” in 2016, she’s stayed under the radar; it appears that she likes her privacy and intends to stay out of the limelight. While there were some rumors about the actress having cancer, it turned out that those rumors were false, and the comedienne is in good health. After withdrawing from the Hollywood stage, now she serves as a member of the board of directors of “White Act Repertory”.
Not much is known about her dating history, but since 1975 the actress has been married to Pete Locke, producer and former co-founder of the motion picture/production Kushner-Locke Company. Regarding his solo projects, as a producer, he is credited for numerous movies, and series, including “The Stockard Cunning Show”, “1st &Ten”, and “Hills Have Eyes”.
The company, previously owned by Pete and Kushner, worked on several movies such as “Teen Wolf”, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”, and “But I’m a Cheerleader”, before declaring bankruptcy in 2001.
Reportedly, the couple never welcomed any children. However, Pete has a son named Tyler Locke from a previous relationships.
What is her net worth?
Liz’s wealth is estimated at $6 million as of late-2021, which she’s acquired through her acting career spanning five decades.
Physical stats and Weight Loss
Liz is 5ft 7ins tall (170m) and weighs around 143lbs (65kgs). Her natural hair is brown, further adorned with brown eyes. Liz has always been known for her unique and impeccable fashion style, which consists of colorful flowing gowns and dresses.
While Liz had battled with obesity for years, in 2008 she had a breaking point when she changed her ways and unhealthy habits.
Reportedly, losing weight had always been on her mind, but Liz just lacked motivation and perseverance.
She talked about weight issues and her appearance in one of her previous interviews, saying: ‘I’m heavy. This is reality. I don’t’ kick myself about it, but I don’t think I look fabulous in my clothes. I know that in my suits I look like a box walking down the street. That’s the thing that hurts me most.’ She also explained how reading magazines and looking at models also had a negative effect on her body image and mental health, that she had to refrain from watching and dreaming that one day she would fit into those tiny clothes.
After experimenting with various diets and workout regimes for a couple of years, in 2016 she stunned her fans as she appeared on the premiere of the “Gilmore Girls” reboot half her previous size.
Many media outlets wrote about her amazing transformation, calling her “unrecognizable” and “breathtaking”.
Hobbies and Trivia
Liz is an avid animal lover; she used to have a Yorkshire terrier named Libby.
In 1977, she had the opportunity to perform at the White House during the National Hispanic Heritage Week. She also sang for the former king of Morocco, Hassan II.
In addition to her numerous endeavors and projects, she always found time to support and advocate for various charitable causes, including providing education to minorities, funding for public television, and raising awareness of and fighting AIDS.
It appears that she’s not active on social media, and hence doesn’t use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.