Ivonne Coll

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Ivonne Coll
Ivonne Coll at 2015 PaleyFest.jpg
Coll at the 2015 PaleyFest presentation for Jane the Virgin
Born Ivonne Coll Mendoza
(1947-06-18) June 18, 1947 (age 68)
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Occupation Actress, singer
Coll was "Miss Puerto Rico" in 1966

Ivonne Coll (born June 18, 1947) is a Puerto Rican actress. She was Miss Puerto Rico in 1967, and Miss Universe pageant in same year. She later turned actress, appearing in films The Godfather Part II, Lean on Me. In 2014, Coll began starring as Alba Villanueva, title character's grandmother, in the CW comedy-drama series, Jane the Virgin.

Early years[edit]

Coll (birth name:Ivonne Coll Mendoza [1] ) was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico where she received her primary and secondary education. She was an honor student and graduated from "Nuestra Señora del Pilar" school. She then enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico) where she studied Social Sciences.[2][3][4]

Coll started her career as a fashion model. In 1966, she represented the town of Fajardo in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant and won. In 1967, she represented the island as Miss Puerto Rico in the "Miss Universe" pageant which was celebrated in Miami, Florida.[2][3][4]


1971—1975: A girl named Ivonne Coll[edit]

External audio
You may listen to Ivonne Coll narrating in Spanish her experiences in the show "Una chica llamada Ivonne Coll" on YouTube

At the end of 1971, the owner of television channel 11 in Puerto Rico, Mr. Rafael Perez Perry spotted Ivonne's talent. Channel 11's competitor had a show with a young starlet by the name of Iris Chacón. Perez Perry believed that Coll could have a show of her own that would be able to compete with the other channels and with Chacon's show. Therefore, he sponsored the show which was called "Una chica llamada Ivonne Coll" ("A girl named Ivonne Coll") and which ran from 1971 to 1975.[3][4]

In 1976, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she took dance and singing classes in the Academy of Stage and Cinema Arts. She landed a part in a theater play called "Burning Beach", which was presented in the American Place Theater.[2][3][4]

Career in the United States[edit]

In 1979, Coll moved back to New York, where she participated in various Off Broadway productions such as:[3][4] Spain 1980, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. In New York, film director Francis Ford Coppola recruited her for the role of "Yolanda", a Havana night club singer in The Godfather II. Although her role was small, the experience would serve her well in the future. She was credited as "Yvonne Coll".[3][4][5]

In 1989, she played a minor role of a teacher named Mrs. Santos, in the film "Lean on Me" written by Michael Schiffer, directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Morgan Freeman.[6] She participated in the following productions:[3][4] Orinoco, The Masses Are Asses (a play by Pedro Pietri), Medio Comuñas, Goodbye Castro, and Pancho Diablo (with Fernando Allende and Sully Diaz).

She won an ACE Award for best actress for Orinoco. When not acting, Coll attended the HB Studio and Lee Strasberg's Acting Studio.[3][4] Among the television series on which she appeared were: Pacific Blue, Crisis Center, An American Family, The Bold and the Beautiful, Chicago Hope, Malibu Shores, NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, and Under Cover.

Later years[edit]

When Coll returned to Puerto Rico, she was invited to participate in La verdadera historia de Pedro Navaja and Paper Flowers. She had a role in the locally produced film, La gran Fiesta (The Grand Party), and in the TV show Cuqui. In 2002, she appeared in the film Besos de Fuego.[2] In October 2006, she played the title role in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage at the Berkeley Rep Theater in Berkeley, California.[4][5] From 2011 to 2014, she had the recurring roles on Switched at Birth, Glee, and Teen Wolf. Beginning in the fall of 2014, Coll become part of the main cast as Alba Villanueva, grandmother of Jane Villanueva, in the CW comedy series, Jane the Virgin.[7][5]



Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Godfather Part II Yolanda
1985 La Gran Fiesta Dona Tula
1989 Lean on Me Mrs. Santos
1990 A Killer Among Us Francine Cortez Television film
1995 As Good as Dead Mexican Woman Television film
1996 The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca Angelina Gonzalez
1997 The Pest Gladyz
1997 Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy Officer Wilcox Television film
1998 Strangeland Rose Stravelli
1999 Instinct Dr. Marzuez
1999 In Too Deep Mrs. Batista
2000 Waking the Dead Gisela Higgens
2000 Michael Angel Killan's Mother
2000 Details Mother Short film
2002 Scorcher Mayor Salizar
2004 Jesus the Driver Marisol
2006 Splinter Mom
2007 De pura cepa Carmen Short film
2009 The Night Girl Esperanza Short film
2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn Gypsy Crone Television film
2013 Counterpunch Grandma Daisy
2014 Los Scavengers Remi
2015 Endgame Abuelita


Year Title Role Notes
1971-1975 A girl named Ivonne Coll Herself
1990 DEA Mrs. Clemente Series regular, 10 episodes
1990 The Flash Carmen Hijuelos Episode: "Child's Play"
1990 Gabriel's Fire Dr. Luisa Hernandez / Mrs. Pena Episodes: "Money Walks" and "Judgements"
1991 Wings Mooshta Episode: "Duet for Cello and Plane"
1994 L.A. Law Judge Leslie Peyton Episode: "Silence Is Golden"
1995 Chicago Hope Mrs. Ponce Episode: "Wild Cards"
1996 Malibu Shores Mrs. Martinez Episodes: "Cheating Hearts" and "The Competitive Edge"
1996-1997 The Bold and the Beautiful Alicia Cortéz Recurring role
1997 Crisis Center Janie Sheppard Episodes: "Where Truth Lies" and "Shots"
1996-1998 Pacific Blue Rosa Del Toro Recurring role, 3 episodes
1999 The Practice Dr. Maria Hernandez Episode: "Committed"
2000 NYPD Blue Sonia Lopez Episode: "The Man with Two Right Shoes"
2000 City of Angels Miss Hernandez Episodes: "Weenis Between Us" and "The High Cost of Living"
2001 The Huntress Nelda Ramos Episode: "Run Ricky Run"
2001 Roswell Ms. Ramirez Episodes: "Significant Others" and "To Have and to Hold"
2001-2002 The Division Mrs. Ramirez / Elaine Hunt Episodes: "There But for Fortune" and "Secrets, Lies and Weddings"
2003 Judging Amy Nurse Abby Corazon Episode: "Judging Eric"
2003 Six Feet Under Vanessa's Therapist Episode: "Death Works Overtime"
2003 Skin Amelia Episodes: "Secrets & Lies" and "Endorsement"
2003 Joan of Arcadia Marlene Recurring role, 3 episodes
2005 Without a Trace Concebida Hernandez Episode: "Neither Rain Nor Sleet"
2005 Veronica Mars Knitting Grandmother Episode: "One Angry Veronica"
2006 Crossing Jordan Mrs. Salazar Episode: "Dreamland"
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Marsha Kendric Episode: "Poppin' Tags"
2007 Dirt Cleaning Lady Episode: "This Is Not Your Father's Hostage Situation"
2007 Heroes Nidia Episode: "Chapter Two 'Lizards'"
2008 The Young and the Restless Rosa Flinn Recurring role
2009 ER Grandmother Episode: "And in the End..."
2010 Cold Case Sonia Espinosa Episode: "Bombers"
2011-2014 Switched at Birth Adriana Vasquez Recurring role, 28 episodes
2014 Teen Wolf Araya Calavera Recurring role, 5 episodes
2011-2015 Glee Alma Lopez Recurring role, 3 episodes
2014—present Jane the Virgin Alba Villanueva Series regular
Nominated—Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television (2015)


  1. ^ This name uses Spanish marriage naming customs; the first is the paternal family name "Coll" and the second or maternal family name is Mendoza".
  2. ^ a b c d Profile at Fundacion Nacional de la Cultura Popular, prpop.org; accessed November 8, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h “Glee” gets a (controversial) injection of Latina flavor from Ivonne Coll
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Profile: Goodman theatre, goodmantheatre.org; accessed November 8, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Ivonne Coll at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "VUDU - Watch Movies". Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  7. ^ The Deadline Team. "David Cross Set For Fox’s ‘Dead Boss'; ABC’s Richard LaGravenese & CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ Add To Casts - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Carol Bajandas
Miss Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
Marlene Carrasquillo