Zuniga at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2019
Daphne Eurydice Zuniga
October 28, 1962
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
David Mleczko (m. 2019)
Daphne Eurydice Zuniga (/ /; born October 28, 1962) is an American actress. She made her film debut in 1982 in the slasher film The Dorm That Dripped Blood at the age of 19, followed by a lead role in the horror film The Initiation (1984) two years later.
She went on to star in several comedies, including Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing (1985), opposite John Cusack, and the cult comedies Modern Girls (1986), and Spaceballs (1987). She also starred opposite Lucille Ball in the television drama film Stone Pillow (1986), and in the science-fiction horror sequel The Fly II (1989). Zuniga later gained major exposure as a television actress for her role as Jo Reynolds on the Fox primetime soap opera Melrose Place from 1992–1996. Other television credits include as Victoria Davis on One Tree Hill (2008–2012), and as Lynn Kerr on the drama series Beautiful People.
Zuniga has been active in environmental issues since the mid-2000s, and was a founding member of the Earth Communications Office. She has also worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and Environment California.
Zuniga was born in San Francisco, California, to Agnes A. (née Janawicz) and Joaquín Alberto Zúñiga Mazariegos. Her mother is a Unitarian minister, of Polish and Finnish descent, and her father, originally from Guatemala, was an emeritus professor of philosophy at California State University, East Bay. Zuniga has a sister, Jennifer Zuniga.
In her early teens, Zuniga expressed interest in acting, and attended the Young Conservatory program of the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco. After her parents divorced, Zuniga moved with her mother and sister from Berkeley, California, to Reading, Vermont, where she spent the remainder of her teen years. Zuniga graduated from Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1980, after which she returned to California and enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles to study theater arts. After leaving college, Zuniga was close friends and roommates with fellow actress Meg Ryan.
Zuniga made her film debut in Stephen Carpenter's slasher film The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982), playing a supporting role as a college coed. Two years later, she made her lead debut in The Initiation, another college-themed slasher co-starring Vera Miles and Clu Gulager. "It was a great part," Zuniga recalled. "I got to play twins: a good sister and an evil sister. I got shot in the back on-screen. It was pretty heavy for a first role."
She then appeared in the drama Vision Quest (1985), followed by a lead role in Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing (1985), opposite John Cusack. The film was critically praised; critic Roger Ebert said of the film: "The movie industry seems better at teenage movies like Porky's, with its sleazy shower scenes, than with screenplays that involve any sort of thought about the love lives of its characters. That's why The Sure Thing is a small miracle." Shortly after, Zuniga was cast in the television drama film Stone Pillow (1985), playing a social worker in New York City who forms a bond with an elderly homeless woman, played by Lucille Ball. She also appeared in the comedy Modern Girls (1986), opposite Cynthia Gibb and Virginia Madsen.
In 1987, Zuniga was cast as Princess Vespa in Mel Brooks's cult comedy Spaceballs, opposite Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, and John Candy. Though the film received mixed critical reception, it later garnered a cult following. The next year, Zuniga appeared in a lead role in the blockbuster horror film The Fly II (1988), followed by the drama-comedy Staying Together (1989), and as a med student opposite Matthew Modine in the drama Gross Anatomy (1989).
Melrose Place, film, and television
In 1992, she was cast as Jo Reynolds in the Fox soap opera Melrose Place, and appeared on the show as a recurring character until 1996. The role garnered Zuniga major exposure to television audiences, though her television career had begun in the early eighties with a minor role on Family Ties (1984) as a girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton. She also appeared in the 1995 miniseries Degree of Guilt.
In 1994, Zuniga appeared in the release of a video for Bob Seger's previously released 1976 hit "Night Moves". In the video version of the song, she and a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc are shown in a 1960s drive-in theater, where Zuniga as a dark, edgy young woman becomes a visual fascination for LeBlanc as a clean-cut young man. Later, Zuniga would work as a voice actor on the animated television series Stories from My Childhood (1998), and also had a lead role in the miniseries Pandora's Clock (1996), an action thriller filmed in Seattle, Washington.
In 2005-2006, she was cast as Lynn Kerr on the ABC family series Beautiful People, and also had a recurring role in the series American Dreams. She also appeared in a recurring role as Victoria Davis on The CW series One Tree Hill between 2008 and 2012, appearing in over forty episodes. During this time, she appears in several made-for-television movies including Secret Lives (2005), The Obsession (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006), Mail Order Bride (2008), and On Strike for Christmas (2010).
In 2007, Zuniga co-produced and co-directed (with Steven Latham) the documentary "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED" — a look at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference held in Monterey, California. She also starred in the scripted web series Novel Adventures, which premiered November 3, 2008 from CBS Interactive. In February and March 2008, Zuniga appeared onstage in a production of The Scene by Theresa Rebeck, at the San Francisco Playhouse.
Zuniga reprised her role as Princess Vespa from the 1987 film Spaceballs, by voice-over in the television spin-off Spaceballs: The Animated Series. She also reprised her role from Melrose Place in an updated version, but it was short-lived, as the series was cancelled after just one season in 2009-10. She starred in 2010 in the hit Hallmark Channel film A Family Thanksgiving. In 2013, Zuniga appeared as a postal worker in the Hallmark Channel series Signed, Sealed, Delivered, as well as the television film based on the series and in Gone Missing with Lauren Bowles.
Zuniga appeared in a guest starring role in the VH1 scripted series Hindsight as Libby. In 2016, she was cast in a new TV movie for Hallmark Channel, When Duty Calls, with Judd Nelson and Daniella Monet.
Now in post-production, Daphne Zuniga directed her first movie, The Protégé, with Keenan Tracey and Jeannette Sousa.
In 2019, she joins the cast of Gates Of Paradise opposite Jason Priestley and Christmas In Paris with Karl E. Landler.
2020, she's a guest star in NCIS as Stacy Gordon, Navy commander.
Zuniga has cited her family's camping trips to Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone as sparking her lifelong interest in the environment. "The planet does nothing but support us," she said in a 2007 interview, "and we are constantly committing crimes against nature."
Zuniga has supported several environmental campaigns. In 2009, she was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, a not-for-profit development corporation charged with catalyzing sustainable development along the Los Angeles River.
In 2004, Zuniga suffered from mercury poisoning, which she attributed to overconsumption of fish. She said she had eaten sushi four times in the week prior to being taken to the emergency room and that her symptoms included weak memory, headaches, crying spells, skin rashes, and mild depression. After her diagnosis, Zuniga stopped consuming fish in addition to other meat.
|1982||The Dorm That Dripped Blood||Debbie|
|1983||Quarterback Princess||Kim Maida||Television film|
|1984||The Initiation||Kelly Fairchild/Terry Fairchild|
|1985||Vision Quest||Margie Epstein|
|The Sure Thing||Alison Bradbury|
|Stone Pillow||Carrie Lang||Television film|
|1989||The Fly II||Beth Logan|
|Staying Together||Beverly Young|
|Gross Anatomy||Laurie Rorbach|
|1992||Mad at the Moon||Young Mrs. Miller|
|Prey of the Chameleon||Patricia / Elizabeth Burrows|
|1993||Eight Hundred Leagues Down the Amazon||Minha|
|1994||Charlie's Ghost Story||Ronda|
|Cityscrapes: Los Angeles||Chantal|
|1995||Degree of Guilt||Teresa 'Terri' Peralta||Television film|
|1996||Pandora's Clock||Dr. Roni Sanders||Television film|
|1997||Loss of Faith||Claire Hainey||Television film|
|Naked in the Cold Sun||Rini|
|2000||Artificial Lies||Karen Wettering|
|Enemies of Laughter||Judy|
|2003||Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail||Amanda Morton||Television film|
|2005||Secret Lives||Jill Thompson|
|The Obsession||Deborah Matthews||Television film|
|Christmas Do-Over||Jill||Television film|
|2008||Mail Order Bride||Diana McQueen|
|2010||Seducing Charlie Barker||Stella|
|A Family Thanksgiving||Claudia||Television film|
|On Strike for Christmas||Joy Robertson||Television film|
|2012||Changing Hearts||Christina Riley|
|A Remarkable Life||Tracy|
|Signed, Sealed, Delivered||Andrea Shmeckle||Television film|
|2014||Monkey in the Middle||Olive|
|Occupy Alice||Cindy Lowe||Short|
|2016||Who's Driving Doug||Alison|
|Those Left Behind||Shelly|
|When Duty Calls||Carol Lawton|
|My Husband is Missing||Ann Bradshaw||Television film|
|2017||The Wrong Babysitter||Susan||Television film|
|2018||A Christmas Arrangement||Blair Covington|
|2019||Gates Of Paradise||Nurse Broadfield|
|2019||Christmas In Paris||Kate Fortune|
|1984||Family Ties||Rachel Miller||Episode: "Double Date"|
Episode: "The Graduate"
|1989||Nightmare Classics||Irene Marlowe||Episode: "The Eyes of the Panther"|
|1992–1996||Melrose Place||Jo Reynolds||110 episodes|
|1993||The Hidden Room||Elizabeth Mahern||Episode: "The Faithful Follower"|
|1994||Models Inc.||Jo Reynolds||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1995||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Cinderella (voice)||Episode: "Cinderella"|
|1997||Johnny Bravo||Gabrielle (voice)||Episode: "I Used to Be Funny/My Fair Dork/'Twas the Night"|
|Dead Man's Gun||Lillian / Tanya||Episode: "Black Widow"|
|Spin City||Carrie||Episode: "Hot in the City"|
|1998||Spin City||Carrie||Episode: "It Happened One Night"|
|Stories from My Childhood||Episode: "Ivan and His Magic Pony"|
|1999||The Outer Limits||Juliette Kagan||Episode: "Essence of Life"|
|Batman Beyond||Lula (voice)||Episode: "Once Burned"|
|2000||Batman Beyond||April (voice)||Episode: "April Moon"|
|Stark Raving Mad||Dr. Anne Russo||Episode: "Therapy"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Emma Dishell||Episode: "Abomination"|
|Eve||Mrs. King||Episode: "Twas the Fight Before Christmas"|
|2004–2005||American Dreams||Shelly Pierce||14 episodes|
|2005–2006||Beautiful People||Lynn Kerr||16 episodes|
|2007||Nip/Tuck||Carly Summers||Episode: "Carly Summers"|
|2007–2009||Spaceballs: The Animated Series||Princess Vespa (voice)||12 episodes|
|2008||Novel Adventures||Laura French||8 episodes|
|2008–2012||One Tree Hill||Victoria Davis||42 episodes|
|2009||Melrose Place||Jo Reynolds||Episode: "Windsor"|
|2010||Melrose Place||Jo Reynolds||Episode: "Santa Fe"|
|2015||Hindsight||Libby||Episode: "The Cranberries"|
|2020||NCIS||Navy Commander Stacy Gordon||Episode: "Lonely Hearts"|
- Aily, Kornblut; and Anne E. (October 29, 1995). "MAN TROUBLE? NOT ME, SAYS DAPHNE 'MELROSE PLACE' STAR'S LIFE IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM TROUBLED ROLES". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 21, 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Daphne Zuniga". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- "Daphne E Zuniga, Born 10/28/1962 in California | CaliforniaBirthIndex.org". www.californiabirthindex.org. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- "Daphne Zuniga Biography (1962?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Daphne Zuniga displays snob appeal in `Spaceballs'". Chicago Sun-Times. June 28, 1987. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Emeritus Professors", Department of Philosophy, California State University, East Bay, website
- "Who's who Among Hispanic Americans - Google Books". Retrieved March 3, 2014 – via Google Books.
- "Vermont History: Daphne Zuniga". Virtual Vermont. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "Daphne Zuniga Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Burke-Block, Candace (June 22, 1987). "Actress Daphne Zuniga: 'I Want To Be A Chameleon'". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- Pecchia, David (February 4, 1989). "No Sure Things". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
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- O'Connor, John J. "TV Reviews; Lucille Ball Plays A Bag Lady On CBS", The New York Times, November 5, 1985
- "Spaceballs (1987)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- Myers, Jack (September 21, 2007). "Beautiful People's Daphne Zuniga: Facing Her Fears and Ready to Fall in Love". Media Village. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- HER STRENGTH HITS NEW 'DEGREE, October 29, 1995, Daily News of Los Angeles
- Childers, Chad. "Matt LeBlanc in 'Night Moves' by Bob Seger". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- Gerard, Jeremy (November 7, 1996). "Review: 'Pandora's Clock'". Variety. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- Bobbin, Jay, "Daphne Zuniga Has 'American Dreams'", October 3, 2004, Zap2It.com News
- "Mail Order Bride". Metacafe.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Novel Adventures". Noveladventures.cbs.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Insider: biography of her character, Laura". Archived from the original on November 18, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- Tristan Fuge, "Daphne Zuniga to Star in San Francisco Playhouse's The Scene", Theatre Mania, January 4, 2008
- Black, Elizabeth (November 20, 2014). "VH1's 'Hindsight' Takes You Back To The '90s". VH1. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- Miller, Jenesse (November 28, 2011). "Her Most Important Role: Daphne Zuniga, Environmentalist". EcoVote. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "LA River Revitalization Corporation, The Board". Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Daphne Zuniga Opens Up About Mindfulness And Finding Love In ORIGIN Magazine". The Huffington Post. October 13, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- Liz Borod Wright, "Actress Describes Mercury Poisoning Ordeal: Daphne Zuniga Was Eating a High Seafood Diet, ABC News, October 21, 2005
- Jordan, Julie (June 8, 2019). "Just Married! Melrose Place Alum Daphne Zuniga Weds Her Longtime Beau David Mleczko". People. Archived from the original on June 9, 2019.