Lillian Hurst

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Lillian Hurst (born August 13, 1943) is a Puerto Rican actress and comedian. She made her debut as a television comedian in the early-1960s. She has worked in film, stage and television productions in the United States.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hurst was born in the Villa Palmeras neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her father owned the "Farmacia Imperial" ("Imperial Pharmacy"), located in Barrio Obrero, Santurce. She received her primary and secondary education in San Juan, the capital.[2] At an early age, she informed her parents that she wanted to be an actress. They soon enrolled her in Ana Santisteban's modeling academy. In 1960, when she was 17 years old, she was discovered by producer Gaspar Pumarejo.[2]


In 1960, Hurst was contracted and she starred in the television comedy Pompilia y su Familia (Pompilia and her Family), which was broadcast on WAPA-TV. Later, she hosted La Hora del Niño (The Children's Hour) on Channel 6.

Some of the other comedies in which she participated in the 1960s were Casos y Cosas de la Casa (Cases and Things of the House) with actor Braulio Castillo[3] and Matrimonio y Algo Más (Marriage and Something More). In 1969, Hurst was contracted by Panamericana de Television of Lima, Peru to work in the program El Hit del Momento (The Hit of the Moment), for one year.[2]

When Hurst returned to Puerto Rico, she went to work in some of the programs produced by her cousin, Tommy Muñiz.[4] She also participated in various theater productions for the first time. Among them were La Casa de las Hojas Azules (The House with the Blue Leaves) and La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja (The True Story of Pedro Navaja). In 1980, Hurst wrote and produced a stage show which she presented at the Condado Beach Hotel in San Juan.[2]

Career in the United States[edit]

Hurst went to New York City where she worked for a short time on some Off-Broadway productions. In 1989, she moved to Los Angeles, California. She also enrolled at Santa Monica College and majored in psychology. Hurst was able to work in both Spanish and English language productions. She landed a role as "Mrs. Maris" in Windows (1991), which was presented at the Taper Forum Theater, and as "Lola" in La Balada de Tina Juarez (The Ballad of Tina Juarez; 1992). She founded an acting school for Hispanic children.[5]

Later years[edit]

Hurst has participated in twenty movies, including the 2005 film English as a Second Language. She has also made over thirty television guest appearances in programs such as JAG, NYPD Blue, The King of Queens, The X-Files, ER, Lost, True Blood and a recurring role in Dharma & Greg, where she played the role of "Celia" in sixteen episodes.[6] She also appeared in the Ugly Betty episode "A Tree Grows in Guadalajara" as Yolanda Salazar, the grandmother of Betty Suarez. In 2009, she appeared on Nip/Tuck as Liz Cruz's mother, Mariela.[2][7]

In 2016, she returned to Los Angeles and appeared in The Comeback and Fear the Walking Dead.[8]

In March 2023 she joined the production of Getting Lost, an upcoming documentary about the TV show Lost.



Year Title Role Notes
1962 Romance in Puerto Rico Celia
1985 Amigos Mirta
1991 The Doctor Mrs. Maris
1994 A Million to Juan Nosey Neighbor
1995 Private Obsession Estella
1995 Sleepstalker Old Woman
1996 Brittle Glory Mrs. Bell
1998 Folle d'elle Gradiosa
1998 Melting Pot Grandma Álvarez
1999 Things I Forgot to Remember Consuelo
1999 Candyman 3: Day of the Dead Flower Woman
2000 Bread and Roses Anna
2001 Shooting LA Grandma
2002 Orange County Lupe
2002 Nightstalker Thelma Martinez
2004 Criminal Mrs. Ochoa
2005 English as a Second Language Juanita
2009 Not Forgotten Hotel Manager
2012 I Am a Director Lillian
2016 Yo Soy Un Político Eneida


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Fue sin querer Fue sin querer 3 episodes
1988 Sesame Street Mrs. Figueroa 2 episodes
1991 The Summer My Father Grew Up Mrs. Gonzales Television film
1992 From the Files of Joseph

Wambaugh: A Jury of One

Mrs. Madrid
1993 Nurses Mother Episode: "Bring Me, the Head of Hank Kaplan"
1995 JAG Sra. Escamilla Episode: "War Crimes"
1996 NYPD Blue Mrs. Marquez Episode: "Hollie and the Blowfish"
1996 The Pretender Bartender Episode: "The Fly"
1997 The X-Files Flakita Episode: "El Mundo Gira"
1997 ER Mrs. Landeta Episode: "When the Bough Breaks"
1997–2001 Dharma & Greg Celia 18 episodes
1999 Profiler Mrs. Alvarez Episode: "Heads, You Lose"
1999 L.A. Doctors Maria Sandoval Episode: "Immaculate Deception"
1999 Cracker Housekeeper Episode: "The Club"
1999 Mad About You Phyllis Episode: "The Final Frontier"
1999 The King of Queens Maria Episode: "Assaulted Nuts"
1999 My Little Assassin Distraught Woman Television film
2000 Seven Days Teo's Mom Episode: "The Cuban Missile"
2000 Ready to Run Lourdes Ortiz Television film
2001 Spyder Games Grandmother Episode #1.49
2002 George Lopez Mrs. Cardenas Episode: "Who's Your Daddy?"
2003 Cold Case Bonita Rafael Episode: "Look Again"
2003 Dragnet Maria Ramos Episode: "Coyote"
2003 Arrested Development Luz Episode: "Top Banana"
2004 Cracking Up Dorsa 4 episodes
2005 Girlfriends Concepcion Immaculata 2 episodes
2005–2010 Lost Carmen Reyes 6 episodes
2005–2015 The Comeback Esperanza 11 episodes
2006 Huff Fellata Episode: "Sweet Release"
2006 The Unit Senora Berenguer Episode: "Report by Exception"
2006–2007 The Nine Consuela Hernandez 4 episodes
2007 Ugly Betty Yolanda Salazar Episode: "A Tree Grows in Guadalajara"
2007 Side Order of Life Mathilda 2 episodes
2007 Reaper Ben's Grandmother Episode: "Ashes to Ashes"
2008 Azucar Morena Mima Television film
2009 Nip/Tuck Mariela Cruz Episode: "Allegra Caldarello"
2009 Lost: The Story of the Oceanic 6 Carmen Reyes Television film
2010 True Blood Great Aunt Cecilia Episode: "I Smell a Rat"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Veterana actriz Lillian Hurst tiene palabras de halago para su colega Johanna Rosaly". Primera Hora (in Spanish). July 20, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Profile,; accessed July 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Ramirez-Torres, Julio Victor. "Actor Braulio Castillo (padre): Un puertorriqueño para la historia". La Calle Digital (in Spanish).
  4. ^ "Lillian Hurst: actriz con "ángel"". Primera Hora (in Spanish). November 19, 2016.
  5. ^ Profile.; accessed July 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "Lillian Hurst | TV Guide - Dharma & Greg".
  7. ^ "Lillian Hurst | TV Guide - Lillian Hurst Credits".
  8. ^ "Lillian Hurst participa en dos series en inglés". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). May 4, 2016.

External links[edit]