Miriam Colon Abuela Santos RIP

We Met Maria Santos

Early on in the Manny story TPTB realized they were dealing with an amazing force. They decided to ditch the clearing Michelle of Mick’s murder storyline they had originally planned in favor of the Manny storyline. They double downed when they introduced and expanded his family. At the Manny “church” wedding we met Danny’s grandmother (abuela in Spanish), Maria Santos. This Maria was a source of goodness and kindness in the Santos family and I think was originally supposed to be where he got those characteristics from. In fact the first time Michelle heard that Danny loved her, she overheard him tell Abuela so.

Abuela Attack on Bauer House

Abuela Attack on Bauer House

Maria #2

Not too far in they did a shake up in the Santos family. Both cousin Ray and Abuela were recast with actors who were Hispanic. I personally was sorry that she couldn’t have been a great aunt or the grandmother on the other side or something because I thought Maria #1 added a lot. This new Maria was cunning as a fox and manipulative. She would drive storyline until the character had a stroke and dropped out of the story. Maria #2 had only faked needing a wheelchair and had ordered a hit on Danny and Tony to save her own hide.

Maria #2 was played by Miriam Colon. Colon’s work was spectacular making you believe she could be a self-protective bad guy who ordered a hit on them to save herself AND a grandmother who DID care about what happened to her grandchildren as long as she was safe first.

jordivilasuso sent out on Instagram “RIP #MiriamColon my Guiding Light abuela who was an amazing force on screen and off. Thank you for your example, generosity, and inspiration!”

Outside of Soaps

Colon was well known outside of her soap career. After being part of the famed Actor’s Studio, Colon was  a fixture on television since the 1950s, like this Bonanza appearence.  She had previously appeared on Edge of Night as Dr. Santos (no relation). Her most famous role was as Al Pacino’s character’s mother in Scarface in 1983. Variety notes “Over the course of her decades-long career, Colon collected over 100 acting credits in film and television.”

She also founded Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York. The New York Times reports the organization sought to bring “free bilingual theater to all parts of the city.” Her Puerto Rican background influenced several Manny fanfics, most especially The Mob’s Cardinal which recast the entire Santos family as Puerto Rican rather than Cuban as presented on screen.

In 1993 she won an Obie lifetime achievement award for her work off Broadway. Colon received a National Medal of Arts in 2015 presented by President Obama.

Colon was born in Puerto Rico Aug. 20, 1936. Fred Valle, Colon’s husband, reported to the AP that she passed away from medical complications due to pulmonary infection on March 3, 2017.

Miriam Colon on Bonanza

Miriam Colon on Bonanza

Sources and Links

New York Times – most details about her life

Michael Fairman

Soap Opera Digest online

Soap Central – using a screen capture from my site

The News – AP – includes death date

NPR – discusses her take on how Puerto Ricans are reflected in the arts


Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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