Vélez at 2013 Comic-Con International
November 2, 1964 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Lauren Vélez (born November 2, 1964) is an American actress and the twin sister of actress Lorraine Vélez. Her most notable roles are as María LaGuerta on Showtime's Dexter, Detective Nina Moreno on Fox's New York Undercover, Dr. Gloria Nathan on HBO's prison drama, Oz, and Elena on ABC's comedy-drama, Ugly Betty.
Lauren's parents moved from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s and lived in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, where she and her twin sister were born. The twins have five other sisters and one brother. Lauren's father, a New York City Police Department officer, eventually bought a house in Far Rockaway, Queens, and moved there with the family. The twins enjoyed setting up improvised plays and acting for the family, and they participated in nearly all their high school productions, such as, Fiddler on the Roof. After graduating from high school, they each received scholarships to attend the Alvin Ailey Dance School. They both went on to study acting at the Acting Studio with its founding artistic director James Price, the protégé and personal friend of Sanford Meisner. In addition, Lauren studied Shakespeare with Michael Howard.
Vélez landed her first job performing in the national touring company of the musical Dreamgirls. Vélez also played understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, and she performed Off-Broadway in the productions of Much Ado About Nothing.
In 1995, Vélez landed her first major television role. She was cast as Nina Moreno, a policewoman in the TV series New York Undercover. That same year, she also made her film debut as Lisette Linares in the movie I Like It Like That, alongside Rita Moreno and Jon Seda. She was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and The Desi Award for Best Lead Actress. The movie was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards and won an NYFCCA award. Another TV series in which she performed was HBO's jail drama, Oz. She also acted in the feature film City Hall (1996), with Al Pacino. In 1997, Vélez starred in Buscando un Sueño (English: In Search of a Dream), the first Spanish language film sanctioned by SAG. Vélez again played a police lieutenant, in a supporting role on Showtime's series Dexter.
On June 24, 2006, she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2006 Long Island International Film Expo for her performance as Roseanne Crystal in the independent feature film, Serial.
|1994||I Like It Like That||Lisette Linares||Independent Spirit Awards for Best Female Lead|
|1995||The Cosby Mysteries||Claudine Palmeri||"The Hit Paradise" (Season 1, Episode 14)|
|1995–1998||New York Undercover||Det. Nina Moreno||TV series
NCLR Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (1998)
Nominated — Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1997, 1998)
|1996||City Hall||Elaine Santos||Nominated — NCLR Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series|
|1997||Buscando un Sueño ("In Search of a Dream")|
|1997–2003||Oz||Dr. Gloria Nathan||ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series (2001)
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series (1999, 2000, 2002)
|1997||I Think I Do||Carol||Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film|
|1998||Thicker Than Blood||Camilla López||Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in Made-for Television Movie or Mini-Series|
|1999||Strange World||Detective Arias||"Azrael's Breed" (Season 1, Episode 9)|
|1999||St. Michael's Crossing||Vicki Solera|
|1999, 2002||Law & Order||Miss Torez (Defence Attorney), Bermuda Air Attendant||"Marathon" (Season 10, Episode 6)
"Hitman" (Season 13, Episode 6)
|2000||Profiler||Emily Sadler||"Clean Sweep" (Season 4, Episode 10)|
|2000||The Pretender||Emily Sadler||"Spin Doctor" (Season 4, Episode 10)|
|2000||Prince of Central Park||Rosa Sánchez|
|2001||Love and Treason||Agent Susan Mestre|
|2001||Prison Song||Prison Counselor|
|2003||Dragnet||Det. Denise Beltran||"Redemption" (Season 1, Episode 9)
"For Whom the Whistle Blows" (Season 1, Episode 11)
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Attorney Shamel||"Home" (Season 5, Episode 16)
"Obscene" (Season 6, Episode 3)
|2005||Strong Medicine||Dr. Vanessa Burke||"First Response" (Season 5, Episode 20)|
|2005||Barely Buzzed||María Vásquez|
|2005||Wanted||Faye Templeton||"The Last Temptation" (Season 1, Episode 12)|
|2006||Medium||Elena Cabrera||"Knowing Her" (Season 2, Episode 19)|
|2006–2007||Numb3rs||Claudia Gomez||"Undercurrents" (Season 2, Episode 23)
"Hardball" (Season 3, Episode 8)
"Contenders" (Season 3, Episode 16)
|2006–2012||Dexter||Cpt. María LaGuerta||NAMIC Vision Award for Best Actress - Drama
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (2007, 2008)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2008 - 2011)
|2007||Serial||Roseanne Crystal||Long Island International Film Expo for Best Supporting Actress|
|2008||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Officer Lois Melago||"Purgatory" (Season 7, Episode 11)|
|2009–2010||Ugly Betty||Elena||"Kissed Off" (Season 3, Episode 13)
"The Courtship of Betty's Father" (Season 3, Episode 14)
"There's No Place Like Mode" (Season 3, Episode 15)
"Things Fall Apart" (Season 3, Episode 16)
"A Mother of a Problem" (Season 3, Episode 18)
"The Past Presents the Future" (Season 4, Episode 19)
|2011||Breakout Kings||Carmen Vega||"Where in the World is Carmen Vega" (Season 1, Episode 13)|
|2011||HawthoRNe||Dr. Kat||"For Better of For Worse" (Season 3, Episode 1)|
|2011||Rosewood Lane||Paula Crenshaw|
|2014||Unforgettable||Aisha Conway||"Fire and Ice" (Season 3, Episode 10)|
|2016||Elementary||Zoe Marcado||"Art Imitating Art" (Season 4, Episode 20)|
- "Today's Birthdays". Harrisburg Daily Register (Harrisburg, Illinois). November 2, 2015. p. 4A.
- /p198203 "Biographies: Lauren Vélez" Check
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- New Show on TV
- "Bio Lauren Vélez". Yahoo! Movies.
- "Biography: Lauren Vélez". AOL Television.
- "Dexter: Lauren Vélez". DexterWiki.sho.com.