Tonita Castro — previously a regular on Fox’s Dads, Comedy Central’s Kroll Show, and CBS’ Go On — died of stomach cancer on Mother’s Day, her agent Nikkolas Rey confirmed to EW. She was 63.
“She was a very sweet, positive, and funny woman,” said Rey, who worked with Castro for over 10 years. “She had great comebacks and would make you laugh. She was a team player. That’s why people wanted to work with her.”
In some of her most recent guest star roles, the sitcom actress appeared on CBS’ Life in Pieces and the pilot for Fox’s The Grinder. Rey said Castro’s comedic roles established her reputation for being a top-notch improviser. “She worked with the biggest comedians in the industry,” he explained. “They loved her because she gave them different material they could expand upon. With one look, she would say a lot.”
After the death of her father in the 1970s, Castro and her family moved from Mexico to the United States. Her new life required sacrifice, but Castro rose to the challenge, cleaning houses and working in a factory, Rey said.
“We had to start from scratch,” she shared with Fox News Latino in 2013. “My mother was a widow with seven kids and she cleaned and ironed and was proud of the honest work she did.”
Castro later launched a hosting career in Spanish radio, which spanned two decades before she landed an acting gig in 2005. A steady stream of roles followed — including spots on CBS’ Two and a Half Men, Showtime’s Dexter, and Fox’s Glee — giving Castro the chance to focus on acting.
“Oh my God, I am so blessed to be in the right place with the right people — the best writers,” she said of working on Dads, which starred Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi, in 2013. “The cast is unbelievable and I am there. I am learning so much.”