María Elena Velasco Dead: 'La India Maria' Actress Dies At 74

05/01/2015 11:14 am ET | Updated May 01, 2015

Comedian and actress María Elena Velasco, better known as La India María, died Friday in Mexico City, according to El Universal. She was 74.

Velasco was born in Puebla and began her career as a nurse in the 1962 film, "Ruletero In Full Swing."

The actress' most successful performance came when she played "La India María," a comedic interpretation of Mexican indigenous women, for a Mexican TV series in 1972. According to IMDb, the character grew so popular it resulted in numerous spin-off films that would make Velasco into a star.

The Mexican icon's cause of death has yet to be announced, though Spanish-language media reports in recent months have said the actress had been battling stomach cancer. At the time she denied the claims, according to El Universal.

She filmed 21 movies and starred in the popular show "¡Ay María, qué puntería!, or "Maria, What Aim!" Her final film was 2014's "The Daughter of Moctezuma."

AP reports she is survived by her children Ivette, Goretti and Iván.

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