Patricia Velásquez

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Patricia Velásquez
Born Patricia Carola Velásquez Semprún
(1971-01-31) 31 January 1971 (age 47)
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Occupation Actress, Fashion Model
Years active 1996–present
Children 1

Patricia Carola Velásquez Semprún (born 31 January 1971) is a Venezuelan actress and model, considered by some to be the first Latina supermodel.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Velásquez, the fifth of six children, was the daughter of Venezuelan parents. Her father is mestizo and her mother a member of the indigenous Wayuu people.[2][3] Her parents were both teachers; her father also worked for UNESCO and as a result, she spent some of her childhood in Mexico and France. She attended San Vicente de Paul High School, graduating in 1987. In 1989, she participated in the Miss Venezuela 1989, where she represented Peninsula de la Goajira, and placed as 2nd runner-up. After 3 years of Engineering college studies, Velásquez left for Milan, Italy, in pursuit of a modelling career.


From 1995 to 2000 she studied acting in Los Angeles and New York.[4] She paced down runways in ready-to-wear fashion shows for designers such as Chanel, Chloe, John Galliano, Antonio Berardi, Bella Freud, Corinne Cobson, Claude Montana, Dolce & Gabbana and many others. As for print advertising, Velásquez appeared in ads for Chanel's Allure, Cover Girl, Monsoon, Roberto Verino's Verino fragrance, as well as Victoria's Secret. During her modeling career, she appeared in the covers of Vogue, Bazaar, Marie Claire among others and several issues of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This led to a large number of further modeling engagements, which ultimately culminated in her being ranked No. 45 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001[5] and No. 16 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" poll in 2002.

Velásquez played Anck-Su-Namun in the 1999 film The Mummy and its 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns.

She had a special appearance on "Breaking the Girl" video of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.She also appeared on the Rod Stewart Video Leave Virginia Alone and others like Ricardo Montaner "Para Llorar" and George Michael's.

Velasquez was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace (Good will Ambassador) in June 2003, in the context of the International Decade for the World’s Indigenous People. This title was bestowed upon her in recognition of her actions for the protection of the Wayúu Taya indigenous people in Latin America and for the safeguarding of their cultural heritage.[6]

Velásquez played the character of Begoña on several episodes of The L Word during its 5th season (2008). She had a recurring role on the television series Arrested Development playing Marta Estrella. On CSI: Miami, in the episode "From The Grave", she appeared as a guest star, playing Celia Gonzalez. She had a recurring role in the first season of Rescue Me playing Nez, the ex-girlfriend and mother of Franco's daughter, Keela. She most recently guest starred on Ugly Betty.

She received the “Women Together” award at the United Nations on 2009. The Awards Ceremony recognizes the valuable contribution of men, women, and institutions dedicated to the creation of a more equal society[7][8]

In 2011 Velásquez successfully helped launch Taya Beauty,[9] an organic line of beauty products. Created from the super-botanicals of the rainforest, Taya Beauty skincare and hair care products are grown in environmentally sustainable programs in South American communities. Taya Beauty is now sold all over the world through QVC and Shopping Channels. [10]

Velásquez competed on behalf of the charity Wayúu Tayá Foundation on the twelfth season of The Apprentice. She was fired in week 6, on 25 March 2012.

On 2015, LA Femme Film festival gave Velasquez their Humanitarian Award. [11]

On August 30th 2018 the Organization of American States (OAS) appointed Velasquez as Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas during a ceremony at the headquarters of the hemispheric institution in Washington, DC.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Velásquez founded The Wayuu Taya Foundation [13], a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the Wayúu, a Venezuelan indigenous group.[14] In 2010, after the devastating Haiti earthquake, she had the Wayuú Tayá Foundation commission a special symbol of hope to raise money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake along with the slogan: Keep the "H" Close to Your Heart—Help Haiti Hope.[15] She is fluent in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.[4]

In February 2015, Velásquez released her memoir Straight Walk, recalling her triumphant journey from poverty to international acclaim. In this intimate and inspiring memoir, she courageously reveals her personal truth

She and her ex-girlfriend Lauren had a daughter. They separated after eight years together. Her current partner is Jennifer Kriz [16]



  1. ^ Elliot, Annabel Fenwick (5 February 2015). "'I was deeply in love with Sandra Bernhard': World's first Latina supermodel Patricia Velasquez comes out as a lesbian in explosive new memoir". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  2. ^ Featspress (April 2001). "Mummy Returns, The: Interview with Patricia Velasquez".
  3. ^ "Iman and Petra support a model cause in New York". Hello!. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15.
  4. ^ a b "Patricia Velasquez - Details". Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  5. ^ "Maxim Hot 100 [Women of] 2001". Maxim. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
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  14. ^ "About the Wayúu Tayá Foundation". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2007.
  15. ^ "Help Haiti Hope". Keep the "H" Close to Your Heart – Help Haiti Hope. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010.
  16. ^ Greenfield, Beth (February 5, 2015). "Despite Success as a Supermodel, This Mom Struggled With One 'Torturous' Secret". Yahoo Parenting. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2018-08-16.

External links[edit]