Colombian actress Celmira Luzardo, who pursued her career in theater, film and television and may have been best known for her role in the soap opera "Yo soy Betty, la fea," has died in Bogota, family and friends said Thursday. She was 61.

Luzardo, the youngest of a family of actors, died Wednesday of respiratory problems, friends and relatives said Thursday via the social networks.

"We woke up to the sad news of the death of the great actress Celmira Luzardo, our condolences, great loss," the Web page Artistas Colombianos reported via Twitter.

Luzardo stood out during the 1980s and '90s in several Colombian television productions and is remembered in particular for her role as Catalina Angel, a fashion designer on "Yo soy Betty, la fea."

She also landed roles in other Colombian soap operas and TV series such as "Los cuervos," "Francisco el matematico," "La mujer del presidente, "La potra zaina" and "La tregua," the latter show based on the novel of the same name by Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti.

Luzardo, besides acting, had studied editing and production at the National Film Institute in London and filmmaking at the Centro Sperimentale di Cimenatografia in Italy.

Several years ago she had moved to the Caribbean island of San Andres and had distanced herself from acting. EFE