September 9, 1964 |
New York City, United States
|Occupation||Actress and Small Business Owner|
Nina Garbiras (born 9 September 1964) is an American actress. She is best known for her TV roles as Alexandra Brill in Fox Television's series The Street, Beth Greenway in the Showtime series Leap Years and Andrea Little on the first season of NBC's Boomtown. More recently, she is the owner of a specialist antique store in New York City.
Garbiras was born in New York, United States and traces her heritage to the Basque reqion of northerneastern Spain and southwestern France. She grew up in New York and later in northern California. She attended Hyde Junior High School in Cupertino, California and went on to graduate from Cupertino High School. She read for her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Santa Clara, a Jesuit university in California's Silicon Valley region, where she majored in psychology. She later studied dramatic art at the L'Ecole de Claude Mathieu in Paris, France. She lives in New York City.
Garbiras's professional stage acting career began in the chorus of a performance of La traviata at the Opera San José in San Jose, California. She also appeared in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. Later, whilst living in Paris, France Garbiras appeared in small productions in that city playing the roles of Marie in Night Games and of Pamela in Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg - both of which were staged at the tiny, 120-seat Theatre Clavel on the Rue Clavel. She also appeared as Roxanne in Bajazet at the Théâtre de la rue Olive.
Garbiras subsequently moved from France to London, England where she worked in fringe theatre appearing in Prison’d in a Parlour playing Lydia at the Southwark Playhouse, London Stories for Wink Productions playing Betty Fred Hiphop, Waking Beauty playing the Red Fairy for Arts Threshold, Babbett in Max Frisch's The Fire Raisers for the Break Out Theatre Company, and Lydia in Spike Heels for the Flipside Studio.
Upon her return to the United States, Garbiras understudied the roles of Josie Hines (played by Suzanne Cryer) and Sammii (played by Tony Award-winning actress Katie Finneran) in the Broadway production of Neil Simon's Proposals at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York which ran from 6 November 1997 to 11 January 1998.
Garbiras’ debut motion picture appearance was in the lead role of Catherine in director Sal Ciaverello's first professional film Blue Shadows, a short film in the horror genre about monstrous devils that hide in moonlight shadows. It was shot on 16mm in 1994 but the film remained unreleased until 1997 when it was screened for the first time in New York. The film was acquired for release on DVD and VHS by EI Independent Cinema in 2001 who intended to include it in a compilation of short films called Cutting Moments 2 but this intended release may not have eventuated.
Garbiras has also appeared in the French-language Swiss film Fin de Siècle playing the part of Alison, in New York documentary filmmaker Alison Swan's dramatic feature debut Mixing Nia which was shown at the 1998 New York Film Festival, and in Emily Baer's Guy's Guide to Marrying Money. All those films were released in the same year - 1998. In 2000 she appeared in You Can Count on Me, playing Nancy Everett, the pregnant wife of a character played by the actor Matthew Broderick
Garbiras’ biggest motion picture role to date is that of Janine Creedlow in Bruiser (2000) a horror picture directed by George A. Romero and screened at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2007 she appeared in The Nanny Diaries starring Scarlett Johansson and Alicia Keys and directed by Shari Springer Berman. Garbiras played the minor role of Miss Chicago.
Bruiser, The Nanny Diaries and You Can Count on Me were widely available on DVD shortly after their release, whilst Garbiras’ other films are less readily available to her fans.
Garbiras has made numerous network television appearances in the United States. She appeared in Episode 5 of the sixth season of ABC's highly successful NYPD Blue which first aired in November 1998; as a guest on single episodes of NBC's Lateline; on ABC's The Mike O’Malley Show and in 2000 in Grapevine on CBS television. She also appeared in the pilot episodes of NBC's Cold Feet and Fox's Traffic and The Only Living Boy in New York. None of those pilots became series but Garbiras's TV fortunes changed when she landed the role of Alexandra Brill on Fox's popular series The $treet (2000-1). She appeared as idealistic schoolteacher and later, best-selling author Beth Greenaway on Leap Years for the cable station Showtime in 2001 and later, in what is perhaps her most successful role, reporter Andrea Little on NBC/DreamWorks’ series Boomtown in 2002-3. Garbiras has described the Little character as "tough, articulate and headstrong". Her character did not return for the ill-fated second series of the show (it was cancelled before filming was completed and only a few episodes were screened) because the writers could not decide what to do with her character. In 2006 she appeared in a single episode of Dr. Vegas, a CBS series starring the popular actor Rob Lowe.
Garbiras has also worked professionally as a singer. In addition to her roles in the opera La traviata and the musical Jesus Christ Superstar mentioned above, Garbiras sang with AOR group The Paul Godfrey Band in the late 1980s.
As is customary for stars of major network and cable TV shows in the United States, Garbiras was involved in a number of publicity events for the series in which she appeared. She attended the Showtime premiere of Leap Years and was interviewed by Bill Tush live on CNN television's Showbiz This Week promoting The $treet (the interview aired on 27 May 2000). To promote Boomtown she attended NBC's press tour at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, California; the NBC Winter 2003 All Star Party at Los Angeles' Bliss Club, and the NBC Upfront event announcing NBC's primetime fall line-up for 2003 held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Garbiras has been represented for the major part of her career by the well-known theatrical agents William Morris Agency.
Garbiras’ portrayal of reporter Andrea Little in NBC/DreamWorks’ Boomtown drew immediate acclaim. New York Magazine commented that the character could be the first print journalist in a decade to be portrayed in prime-time television as having principles and decency. The magazine compared Garbiras favourably to Golden Globe Award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker.
Garbiras was listed fourth in Netscape Celebrity's March 2005 ranking of "Top 10 Gutsy Gals" beating out better known TV actresses like Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Jacqueline Obradors (NYPD Blue), amongst others.
In recent years, Garbiras has begun a second career as a small business owner. She opened an antique furniture store and design business on Ludlow Street in the lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, New York. The store specialises in English and French pieces. In August 2008 Garbiras told New York's Daily News that she had chosen the location of her store "to be close to the artists who live and create here." The store has subsequently moved to a location near Sixth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York and now places greater emphasis on its interior design service. Garbiras pursues this venture simultaneously with her acting career.
- , Internet Movie Database
- Wikipedia entry "Cupertino High School"
- , Internet Movie Database
- William Morris Agency, Inc. Nina Garbiras resume
- Post to Fans of Nina Garbiras Facebook page by Brian Eric Stuckey on 7/7/2010
- , Theatre Clavel official website
- , Internet Broadway Database
-  Bob Stewart, All Movie Guide
-  Jonathan Crowe, All Movie Guide
- , Internet Movie Database
- , Amazon Online Bookstore (accessed February 2010)
- Commentary to the US edition only of the Boomtown Season 1 DVD box set
- William Morris Agency, Inc. Nina Garbiras resume and Variety magazine, 17 April 1980
- John Leonard, New York Magazine, 23 September 2002
- J. Sheftell 'Walk with NYC planner Amanda Burden as she rezones the lower East Side' New York Daily News August 8, 2008