Miriam Colon, a pioneering actress in U.S. Latino New York theater who starred in films alongside Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, died Friday.

Her husband, Fred Valle, said Colon died in a New York hospital because of complications from a pulmonary infection. She was 80.

Colon had been active as late as 2015 with a cameo appearance on the AMC-TV series “Better Call Saul.”

Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Colon participated in theater during her school years and was allowed to audit classes in the drama department at the University of Puerto Rico before she graduated from high school

She came to New York City in the 1950s to study at the Actors Studio and later moved to Los Angeles, where she earned small roles in various television shows and films, Valle said.

Her roles included appearances in “One-Eyed Jacks” with Brando and in “The Outsider” with Tony Curtis.

In 1967, she founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York, where she helped cultivate young Latino actors and writers and staged work that would later be read in Latino Studies classes across the Americas.

During her career, she appeared in more than 90 films and more than 250 television episodes on programs including “Bronco,” “Bonanza” and “Law & Order.” But Colon is widely known as the Cuban-American mother of Tony Montana, played by Pacino, in the 1983 movie “Scarface.” Her voice later appeared in underground hip hop songs as her character chided Pacino for his role in the drug trade.

Colon would go on to star as Tejana restaurateur Mercedes Cruz in the 1996 film “Lone Star.” In that film, she played a former immigrant in the country illegally who lived near the Rio Grande and was quick to call federal immigration authorities on immigrants crossing the border.

Colon earned wide acclaim for her role as the New Mexico Hispanic healer Ultima in the movie “Bless Me, Ultima” based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya.

Her character mentored a young boy and taught him about traditional methods of healing and the New Mexico desert. Posters advertising the popular movie with Colon’s image were seen throughout New Mexico.

In 2015, President Obama presented the National Medal of Arts to Colon for her work as an actress and theater founder. It was an honor Colon cherished, Valle said.

“We were married more than 40 years,” Valle said. “I was so proud of everything she accomplished.”