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Industry mourns murdered telenovela star

Monica-Spear-LMPThe Latin TV industry has paid tribute to Monica Spear, the former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star who was murdered on Monday night.

Spear and her British ex-husband were killed near the northern Venezuelan city of Puerto Cabello after the car in which they were travelling broke down and they were subsequently attacked. Her daughter was also injured and is currently recovering in hospital.

Spear won the Miss Venezuela beauty contest in 2004 before competing in the Miss Universe pageant. She then moved on from the beauty contest scene and into acting, basing herself in Miami and starring in numerous telenovelas.

She starred in shows including El Desprecio, Que el Cielo me Explique and Pasión Prohibida.

Venezuelan broadcaster, producer and distributor Venevision said: “The large family of Venevision and all Cisneros Media mourn Spear with her family. We have been robbed of a woman and actress of international stature.”

Having worked with Venevision, Spear went on to sign a deal with Telemundo, the NBCUniversal-backed Spanish language broadcaster.

“We are deeply saddened by the horrible crime that affected the beloved actress Monica Spear and her family,” Telemundo said in a statement. “Monica was not only a great professional as we saw in the two novelas she worked with us – Flor Salvaje and Pasión Prohibida – but also an excellent person, always enthusiastic, full of strength and determination. We wish a quick recovery to her daughter and send our deepest condolences to her family.”

Others including salsa artist Oscar D’Leon took to Twitter to express their condolences. The country’s communications minister used the social network to promise the star’s killers would be caught and prosecuted.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said: “It is very sad and we feel the pain of this loss” and noted Spears’ charity.