According to Reuters, Saldana had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai, but the cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
While Saldana was famous for her work on screen, the actress was perhaps best known for her advocacy of victims’ rights after she survived a near-fatal attack by a stalker in 1982. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that was dedicated to fighting for anti-stalking laws. She then played herself in a film about her attack and advocacy work.
Painful to hear the news of Theresa’s passing. My family & I extend our love, condolences & support to her family in their time of grieving.
— Michael Chiklis (@MichaelChiklis) June 7, 2016
The Brooklyn native appeared in a number of films in the ’70s, but shot into the limelight with her role in Robert Zemeckis’ 1978 film I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The actress also appeared in a number of TV shows including T.J. Hooker, Cagney & Lacey and Simon & Simon.
Saldana’s big break came in 1991, when she landed the part of Michael Chiklis’ wife in the ABC drama The Commish. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the series.
She is survived by her husband, Phil Peters, and a daughter.