Leonor Varela

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Leonor Varela
Leonor Varela(2).jpg
Varela in 2010
Leonor Varela Palma

(1972-12-29) December 29, 1972 (age 46)
Santiago, Chile
OccupationActress, spokesperson, model
Years active1995–present
Lucas Akoskin (m. 2013)
ChildrenMatteo (2012–2018) and Luna Mae (b. 2015)

Leonor Varela Palma (Spanish pronunciation: [leoˈnoɾ βaˈɾela]; born December 29, 1972) is a Chilean actress and model. She played the title role in the 1999 television film Cleopatra, and vampire princess Nyssa Damaskinos in the 2002 film Blade II.

Early life[edit]

Varela was born in Santiago, Chile, the daughter of Leonor Palma-Keller, a massage therapist, and biologist and cognitive neuroscientist Francisco Varela García.[1][2] She has a sister, Alejandra, and two brothers, Javier and Gabriel. Her mother was of French, Hungarian, and Syrian descent.[3] When Varela was a child, her family fled Chile after the 1973 military coup d'état.[4] In the early 1980s, her parents moved back to Chile while she remained in Paris where she studied acting at the Niels Arestrup School, L'École du Passage, and Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris.


Varela's first acting job was in 1995, playing Anette in Pony Trek, a children's film. Filming was in Iceland and Leonor was riding horses for three months. Then, referred to a French filmmaker by her dentist, she played in Shooting Stars (1997). Varela found her popularity on the rise at home when she was cast in the Chilean soap opera Tic Tac.

After appearing in a few more television productions in the late 1990s, Varela was cast in a small role in The Man in the Iron Mask. In 1999, she played the title character in the TV movie Cleopatra.

Roles in The Tailor of Panama and Texas Rangers (both in 2001) followed shortly thereafter, before playing vampire princess Nyssa in the 2002 blockbuster film Blade II. After that came Paraíso B and Pas Si Grave.

Varela also had a short recurring role in the Fox Television series Arrested Development as the original Marta. She was nominated for the Ariel Award in 2005 in the category of Best Actress for Innocent Voices (2004). She also had a non-recurring role in Stargate: Atlantis.[5]

She appeared in Americano and played journalist Jordana Garcia in the film Goal II: Living the Dream.

In 2012, she appeared as Marta Del Sol on the TNT television series Dallas.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Varela was engaged to Billy Zane, her co-star in the 1999 television film Cleopatra.[7] Then they broke up, followed by her marrying producer Lucas Akoskin in April 2013.

In November 2012, Varela and Akoskin welcomed their first child together, a son named Matteo.[8] They also have a younger daughter, Luna Mae, born on February 25, 2015.

Varela, a vegetarian,[9] is a marine life activist who is concerned with the welfare of whales, working with groups such as Save The Whales Again.[10]

Her older son, Matteo, was diagnosed with leukodystrophy (specifically an AGS) shortly after his birth. He died in November 16, 2018, aged 5.[11]



Year Title Role Director
1997 Le ciel est à nous Vanessa Graham Guit
1997 Bouge ! La danseuse Jérôme Cornuau
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask Ballroom Beauty Randall Wallace
1999 Les parasites Fidelia Philippe de Chauveron
1999 Les infortunes de la beauté Annabella John Lvoff
2001 The Tailor of Panama Marta John Boorman
2001 Texas Rangers Perdita Steve Miner
2002 Blade II Nyssa Damaskinos Guillermo del Toro
2002 Paraíso B Gloria Nicolás Acuña
2003 Pas si grave Angela Bernard Rapp
2003 Tas-toi ! Katia / Sandra Francis Veber
2004 Voces inocentes Kella Luis Mandoki
2005 Americano Adela Kevin Nolan
2007 Goal II: Living the Dream Jordana Garcia Jaume Collet-Serra
2007 Where God Left His Shoes Angela Diaz Salvatore Stabile
2008 Sleep Dealer Luz Martinez Alex Rivera
2008 Hell Ride Nada Larry Bishop
2008 Hindsight Maria Paul Holahan
2008 All Inclusive Miranda Rodrigo Ortúzar Lynch
2009 Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach Norma Sanchez Danny Leiner
2009 Wrong Turn at Tahoe Anna Franck Khalfoun
2010 Que pena tu vida Alma Subercaseaux Nicolás López
2011 Blind Alley La Madre Antonio Trashorras
2013 Odd Thomas Odd's Mother Stephen Sommers
2010 Deseo Muchacha Antonio Zavala Kugler
2014 A Fine Step Liliana Bolivar Jonathan Meyers
2014 Ride Danielle Helen Hunt
2015 Captive Sgt. Carmen Sandoval Jerry Jameson
2015 All I Wish Bianca Susan Walter
2018 Saving Flora Isabella Mark Drury Taylor
2018 Alpha Shaman Albert Hughes


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Extrême limite Marie "Sacrifice"
1995 Pony Trek Anette TV film
1996 Sous le soleil Jeanne "Comportement modèle"
1997 Le juste Pregnant Girl "En transit vers l'espoir"
1997 Tic Tac Pola Santa María Main role
1997 Inca de Oro Flor de I'nca TV film
1997 13th Rider Anette TV series
1998 Jeremiah Judith TV film
1999 Cleopatra Cleopatra TV miniseries
2003 Arrested Development Marta Estrella "Bringing Up Buster", "Key Decisions"
2004 Stargate Atlantis Chaya Sar "Sanctuary"
2005 E-Ring Lt. Col. Cat Rodriguez "Pilot"
2006 The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Dr. Azelia Barakat TV film
2007 Como Ama una Mujer Sofia Marquez TV miniseries
2010 Feroz Laura Palma Recurring role
2010 Monsterwolf Maria TV film
2010-2011 Human Target Maria Gallego "Salvage & Reclamation", "A Problem Like Maria"
2012 Dallas Marta Del Sol Recurring role
2012 Inland Empire Poopy TV film
2013 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Camilla Reyes "0-8-4"
2015 Murder in Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story Monica TV film
2018 Lethal Weapon Sofia Vasquez TV series


  1. ^ "FilmReference". Film-Reference. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ ""Te amo tal cual": Actriz Leonor Varela hace pública la dura enfermedad de su hijo". BioBioChile - La Red de Prensa Más Grande de Chile. September 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Interview: Leonor Varela". San Antonio Current. December 10, 2010. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Chaya Sar - The Stargate Omnipedia". www.gateworld.net.
  6. ^ "Leonor Varela tras confirmación de "Dallas": "Tuve que pelear este papel"". El Mercurio (in Spanish). El Mercurio SAP. July 12, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  7. ^ "Billy Zane - Billy Zane Refers To Girlfriend As 'Wife'". Contactmusic.com. April 6, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  8. ^ "Leonor Varela Welcomes Son Matteo". People. November 20, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  9. ^ [1] Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Leonor varela aboga por las ballenas". YouTube. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  11. ^ 13, Tele. "Leonor Varela confirma la muerte de su hijo Matteo: Buen viaje principito de mi corazón". https://www.facebook.com/teletrece (in Spanish). Retrieved November 27, 2018. External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]