November 2, 1964 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
The twins' parents emigrated from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s and lived in the Brooklyn section of New York City, where the twins were born. Their father was a New York City police officer, who eventually bought a house in the middle-class neighborhood of Queens and moved there with his wife and eight children. The sisters enjoyed setting up improvised plays and acting for the family ever since childhood. After graduating from high school, the twins both received scholarships to attend The Alvin Ailey Dancing School. They also studied acting at the Actors Studio, and Lauren studied Shakespeare with Michael Howard. Lauren landed her first job performing in the national touring company of the musical Dreamgirls. Loraine would often step in for her sister in Dreamgirls.
Loraine participated in Broadway's Dreamgirls, as well as in the Off-Broadway production of Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? In 1997, Loraine went to London. There she participated in the production of Rent, wherein she was cast as an understudy for the role of Mimi. Loraine also starred in the debut of Fame in London. She returned to the United States in 2000. There, she performed the role of Mimi on Broadway for almost two years. That same year, Loraine was cast as Tutu in the film Piñero, starring Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto. In 2002, she played Abby Bishop in the TV series Law & Order, and in 2002 she played Valentina Minola in the Casualty episode titled "Worse Things I Could Do".
Loraine has since moved back to London. She performed the role of Spanish maid in famous British TV series Doctor Who (Season 4, chapter 11 - "Turn Left"). She recently starred in a new stage production of Porgy and Bess.
Both sisters continue to make TV and stage appearances.
Filmography and stage roles
|2002||Law & Order||Abby Bishop||1 episode|
|2008||Doctor Who||Spanish Maid|
|1993-1994||Miss Saigon||Gigi||Drury Lane Theatre|
|1994||Out of the Blue||Hannah||Shaftesbury Theatre|
|1995||Mama, I Want to Sing!||Lena Horne||Prince of Wales Theatre|
|1995-1996 & 1998||Fame: The Musical||Carmen||Prince of Wales Theatre. Original cast.|
|1998-2000||Rent||Mimi Marquez||Shaftesbury Theatre|
|2006-2007||Porgy and Bess||Clara, and Bess||Savoy Theatre. Billed as 'Lorraine Velez'|