Natalie Morales (actress)

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Natalie Morales
Natalie Morales, San Diego Comic Con 2009.jpg
Morales in 2009
Born (1985-02-15) February 15, 1985 (age 37)
OccupationActress, film director, writer
Years active2006–present

Natalie Morales (born February 15, 1985) is an American actress and director. She starred in the ABC Family series The Middleman and had a main role on the first season of the USA Network series White Collar. In 2010, she appeared in the feature films Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Going the Distance. Morales also had a starring role in the Fox comedy series The Grinder, the NBC sitcom Abby's, and recurring roles in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, HBO's The Newsroom, and the Netflix series Dead to Me.

Her directorial debut film, the teen comedy Plan B, was released May 28, 2021, on Hulu. She also directed Language Lessons, a film she co-wrote with Mark Duplass and stars in. It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and was released in September 2021.

Early life[edit]

A native of Miami, Florida, Morales is of Cuban descent.[1][2] She attended St. Agatha Catholic School and Southwest Miami Senior High School. She participated in the University of Miami's Dow Jones Minority High School Journalism Workshop.[3]



Morales had a guest appearance on CSI: Miami in 2006, and played a character in Pimp My Ride that year, a video game version of the MTV television series.[4] Her first major role was in The Middleman, a sci-fi dramedy which aired on the ABC Family network for one season. She starred as Wendy Watson; the series was adapted from the comic book, The Middleman. Morales also starred in and executive produced a Web series, titled Quitters. The series was an official selection of the 3rd annual ITVFest (Independent Television Festival) in Los Angeles in August 2008.[5]

In 2009, Morales joined the cast of the USA Network television series White Collar for the first season. She portrayed Lauren Cruz, a junior FBI agent.[6] In May 2010, after her dismissal from the White Collar cast, Morales began appearing as a regular in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, appearing as Lucy, girlfriend of Aziz Ansari's character Tom Haverford and bartender at The Snakehole Lounge. Morales appeared in Oliver Stone's 2010 film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to his 1987 film Wall Street.[7] She was cast as Chelsea Handler's best friend in Are You There, Chelsea? She left the series when the cast was replaced for creative reasons.[8] Morales also appeared on Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama, The Newsroom, guest-starring as Kaylee, the girlfriend of Dev Patel’s character, Neal.[9] In 2013, Morales joined the cast of Trophy Wife as Meg, Kate's best friend.[10] In 2015, she joined the cast of the Fox series The Grinder. In 2017, she appeared in some episodes of the NBC series Powerless.[11] Morales appeared as Detective Anne Garcia in the Netflix horror comedy series Santa Clarita Diet.[12]

Morales's most recent television series is the NBC multi-camera sitcom Abby's, created by Josh Malmuth and executive produced by Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur.[13] Their third series for the network, it premiered on March 28, 2019. Later that year, Morales was cast as Michelle in the second season of the Netflix black comedy series Dead to Me (2019).[14]


In 2021, Morales directed teen comedy Plan B starring Victoria Moroles and Kuhoo Verma. The story revolves around two teens looking for the plan b pill after a night a night of a regrettable first sexual encounter. The film earned critical acclaim with critics praising Morales direction including Linda Holmes of NPR who wrote, "The creators and the cast deserve enormous credit for how deftly the broader comedy here is balanced with genuine fear and frustration, and how unexpectedly parts of the film unfold. A lot of it is somehow structurally familiar but specifically surprising."[15]

That same year she also directed the drama film Language Lessons (2021) which she co-wrote with writer-director Mark Duplass. They both star in the feature, which they filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The film is set over zoom as a spanish teacher (Morales) communicates with her student (Duplass). Katie Erbland, critic of IndieWire praised Morales' work on the film writing "Morales’ winning Language Lessons offers one of the best uses of the format yet, a “Zoom film” that utilizes its constraints to craft an intimate, expressive two-hander, no fatigue in sight".[16] The film had its debut at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in March of 2021 to positive reviews, And was released in September 2021.

Personal life[edit]

On June 30, 2017, Morales stated on social media that she identifies as queer.[17] Morales uses she/they pronouns.[18]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Time Machine Natalie Short film
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Churchill Schwartz Trader (Laura)
Going the Distance Brandy
2011 6 Month Rule Sophie
2012 Freeloaders Red Dot Girl
2017 Battle of the Sexes Rosie Casals
2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Miss Calleros (voice)
2019 Stuber Nicole Manning
2021 The Little Things Detective Jamie Estrada
Language Lessons Cariño also co-writer and director
Happily Patricia
Plan B Director
2022 I’m Totally Fine[19] Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
2006 CSI: Miami Anya Boa Vista Episode: "Darkroom"
2008 Quitters Natalie Web series
2008 The Middleman Wendy Watson Main role, 12 episodes
2009 Boldly Going Nowhere Ruby TV movie
2009 Rockville CA Isabel Web series, episode: "Shoegazed"
2009–2010 White Collar Lauren Cruz Main role, 9 episodes
2010 The Subpranos Beatrice Ramirez Web series, episode: "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves"
2010–2015 Parks and Recreation Lucy Recurring role, 12 episodes
2011 The Cape Kia Episode: "The Lich (Part 1)"
2012 The Newsroom Kaylee 2 episodes
2012–2013 90210 Ashley Howard 5 episodes
2013–2014 Trophy Wife Meg Gomez Main role, 14 episodes
2014–2015 Girls Clementine 3 episodes
2015–2016 The Grinder Claire Lacoste Main role, 21 episodes
2017 Grace and Frankie Melissa Episode: "The Musical"
2017 Powerless Green Fury 2 episodes
2017 Crashing Stephanie Episode: "The Baptism"
2017 Imaginary Mary Rebecca Episode: "In a World Where Worlds Collide"
2017 Making History Mona Episode: "The Duel"
2017–2019 Santa Clarita Diet Anne Garcia 11 episodes
2017–2018 BoJack Horseman Yolanda Buenaventura (voice)
Mindy Buenaventura (voice)
4 episodes
1 episode
2018 Alex, Inc. Serena Bans Episode: "The Rube Goldberg Contraption"
2018 Room 104 Jess Episode: "A Nightmare"
2018 Dream Corp, LLC Patient 6 Episode: "Woomba"
2019 Abby's Abby Main role, 10 episodes
2019 Sunnyside Celeste Episode: "Pants Full of Sandwiches"
2019 Harley Quinn Lois Lane (voice) Episode: "Finding Mr. Right"
2020 Dead to Me Michelle Gutierrez Recurring role
2020 Solar Opposites Mrs. Perez (voice) 2 episodes
2021 Mr. Mayor Susan Karp Episode: "Respect in the Workplace"
2021 Rugrats Betty DeVille (voice) Recurring role
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Pimp My Ride Aiyan Video game


  1. ^ Hernandez, Lee (March 25, 2010). "'White Collar' Fires Natalie Morales, 'Parks and Recreation' Hires Her!". Latina. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "From Kidnap Victim to Kicking Butt". Miami Herald. June 23, 2008. p. 8a.
  3. ^ "Miami Montage". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19.
  4. ^ "Slice of SciFi Interview With "The Middleman" Star Natalie Morales". 5 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Independent Television Festival 2008 : Quitters". Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 8, 2009). "Actress joins USA crime series". Reuters. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "Who's that Girl? Natalie Morales Goes from TV to "Wall Street"".
  8. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 3, 2011). "Exclusive: Chelsea Handler's New NBC Sitcom Cuts Three Castmembers in Overhaul". TVLine. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "White Collar Alum Joins Sorkin Show, X Factor Finale Beats The Voice and More!". TVLine. July 3, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "'White Collar' Alum Joins ABC Comedy Pilot 'Trophy Wife'". The Hollywood Reporter. November 26, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  11. ^ Gerding, Stephen (February 2, 2017). "NBC’s Powerless Adds Justice League Member to Cast".
  12. ^ Reiher, Andrea (February 9, 2017). "Deputy Anne brings the heat to Santa Clarita Diet". AV Club. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2018). "'Abby's' & "I Feel Bad' Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC". Deadline. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 17, 2019). "'Dead to Me' Season 2 Casts Natalie Morales (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "'Plan B' Is A Winning Comedy With Some Painful Truths". NPR. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "'Language Lessons' Review: Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales Shine in Intimate Exploration of Platonic Love". June 12, 2021. March 2021.
  17. ^ "Natalie Morales would like you to know nothing about her, except for one thing…". Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. June 30, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  18. ^ "Natalie Morales". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  19. ^ Kyle Newacheck To Produce Sci-Fi Dramedy ‘I’m Totally Fine’ Starring Jillian Bell & Natalie Morales; How The Film Came Together In 10 Days During Covid

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