Rosanna DeSoto

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Rosanna DeSoto
Born (1950-09-02) September 2, 1950 (age 68)
San Jose, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation Actress
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Jonathan Taplin (1974—1978)
David S. Ward (1980—present)
Children 2

Rosanna DeSoto (born September 2, 1950)[2] is an American actress who has performed in films and television. She is best known for her roles in Stand and Deliver, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female,[3][4] and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as Azetbur, the daughter of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon.[5][6]

Her other film roles include La Bamba (1987) as Ritchie Valens' mother Connie Valenzuela;[7] and Family Business (1989) as the wife of Vito McMullen (Dustin Hoffman).[8]

DeSoto's first television role was in the series A.E.S. Hudson Street (1978) as Nurse Rosa Santiago.[9] She starred in the short-lived series The Redd Foxx Show (1986).[10] She has made guest appearances on many television series, including Cannon, Kung Fu, Barnaby Jones, Barney Miller, Melrose Place, Murder, She Wrote, The Bold and the Beautiful and Law & Order.

Early life and education[edit]

DeSoto was born in San Jose, California on September 2, 1950.[1][2][4][11] Both of her parents were Mexican immigrants from Michoacán. DeSoto had four brothers and four sisters, making her one of nine siblings. She spent her early years handpicking fruit, particularly apples.[4]

DeSoto graduated from San Jose State University, double majoring in Spanish literature and drama. During her tenure at SJSU, DeSoto rehearsed and performed with the Light Opera Company.[4]


DeSoto made her film debut in 1979 with The In-Laws.[4] She appeared opposite Nick Nolte and Debra Winger in Cannery Row (1982).[4] DeSoto won the Golden Eagle Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982).[4] In 1986, she appeared opposite Rob Lowe and Demi Moore in About Last Night, playing Mrs. Lyons.[1][4] That same year, she portrayed waitress Diana Olmos in the short-lived sitcom, The Redd Foxx Show.[10][12][13][14]

In 1987, DeSoto appeared in the biographic film La Bamba. In that film, she portrayed Connie Valenzuela, the mother of Ritchie Valens, played by Lou Diamond Phillips.[1][4][6][7] The next year, DeSoto collaborated with Phillips again in the 1988 biopic Stand and Deliver, where she portrayed Fabiola Escalante, the wife of Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos).[1][4] Her performance garnered her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.[3][4]

In 1989, she played the wife of Dustin Hoffman's character in Family Business.[1][4][8] That same year, she landed the principal role in Face of the Enemy.[4] She also played Azetbur in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).[4][5][6] DeSoto portrayed Linda in The 24 Hour Woman (1999).[1] She has also acted in the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful.[6]

DeSoto wrote and appeared in “A Woman in Progress/Canto de Oro, Cuento de Mujer” that was produced by the Intar Theater group in New York in 2005.[6]

Personal life[edit]

From 1974 to 1978, DeSoto was married to Jonathan Taplin. They have one daughter, Daniela (born June 1976).[4][15][16]

DeSoto has been married to David S. Ward since September 20, 1980.[17] They have a daughter, Sylvana Ward Durrett (born 1981).[4][6][18]

DeSoto is also the aunt of Ken Ramoz, who appeared in such films as Gettysburg (1993) and Getting Even with Dad (1994).[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 The In-Laws Evita
1980 Serial Maria
1982 The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez Carlota Muñoz
1982 Cannery Row Ellen Sedgewick
1986 About Last Night... Mrs. Lyons
1986 Jackals Manuela
1987 La Bamba Connie Valenzuela
1988 Stand and Deliver Fabiola Escalante
1989 Family Business Elaine McMullen
1989 Face of the Enemy Nelioufar Mobbasser
1991 San Juan Story Olga Torres Short
1991 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Azetbur
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Linda
2000 Mambo Café Carmen
2001 Wooly Boys Martinez
2005 Once Upon a Wedding Sonia


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Cannon Elena Duran 1 episode
1973 The Mod Squad Dolores 1 episode
1973 Kung Fu Kiona 1 episode
1975-1979 Barney Miller Miss del Fuego/Elena Elezando/Teresa Tasco 4 episodes
1975 Harry O Edwina 1 episode
1975 McMillan & Wife Katina 1 episode
1976 The Streets of San Francisco Angie 1 episode
1978 A.E.S. Hudson Street Nurse Rosa Santiago Regular; 5 episodes
1978 Rhoda Receptionist 1 episode
1978 The White Shadow Spanish Teacher 1 episode
1979 Angie Nurse Alonzo 1 episode
1979 Lou Grant Angela Cariaga 1 episode
1979 Paris Marisa Gomez 1 episode
1978 Three Hundred Miles for Stephanie Lydia
1982 American Playhouse Carlota Muñoz 1 episode
1983 Condo 1 episode
1983 Women of San Quentin Adela Reynosa
1985 Punky Brewster Rita J. Sanchez 2 episodes
1985-1987 Miami Vice Erendira/Maria Lupe Cruz 2 episodes
1986 The Redd Foxx Show Diana Olmos Regular; 7 episodes
1986 Joe Bash Maria 1 episode
1988-1996 Murder She Wrote Consuela Schaeffer/Maria Galvan/Iza Decalde 3 episodes
1992 Melrose Place Delia Saldana 2 episodes
1992 Child of Rage Doris
1992 Law & Order Mrs. Ortega 1 episode
1993 Quantum Leap Fiddler 1 episode
1995 Picture Windows Layla 1 episode
1995 Kissing Miranda Carmen Ortega 1 episode
1996 Walker, Texas Ranger Cora Reynolds 1 episode
1997 Invasion Nancy Ochoa
1998 Thicker Than Blood Señora
2000 Chicago Hope Lulu 1 episode
2001 Strong Medicine Dr. Elena Gomez 1 episode
2001 The Bold and the Beautiful Liliana Dominguez 6 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rosanna DeSoto
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Stand and Deliver awards and nominations at The New York Times
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Telgen, Diane (1993). Notable Hispanic American Women. VNR AG. ISBN 9780810375789.
  5. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (6 December 1991). "Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country (1991) Review/Film; Aging Trekkers to the Rescue One Last Time. Really". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Sylvana Soto-Ward, Adam Durrett". The New York Times. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b Longsdorf, Amy (18 October 2014). "'Days' a strong addition to 'X-Men' franchise". Courier-Post. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (15 December 1989). "Family Business (1989) Review/Film; 'Family Business,' a 3-Generation Caper". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  9. ^ Leszczak, Bob (1993). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948-1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. ISBN 9780786493050.
  10. ^ a b "Redd Foxx Is Back". Jet. 10 February 1986. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  11. ^ Berumen, Frank Javier Garcia (2014). Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films Since the 1960s. McFarland. ISBN 9781476614113.
  12. ^ "New Black Shows Make Debut in TV's Mid-Season Changes". Jet. 27 January 1986. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  13. ^ Margulies, Lee (17 January 1986). "Tv Review : Redd Foxx In New Show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  14. ^ "National Report: Foxx Felled By a Heart Attack Taping TV Show; Calls for Wife and Dies". Jet. 28 October 1991. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  15. ^ Jonathan Taplin overview at Turner Classic Movies
  16. ^ Rosanna DeSoto overview at Turner Classic Movies
  17. ^ David S. Ward biography at
  18. ^ "Sylvana Ward Durrett and Daniela Taplin Lundberg's Birthday Party". Vogue. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  19. ^ "TAEM interview with screenwriter Ken Ramoz". December 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2015.

External links[edit]