Selenis Leyva

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Selenis Leyva
Selenis Leyva.jpg
Leyva at the 2014 Peabody Awards.
Born (1972-05-26) May 26, 1972 (age 46)
Years active1999-present

Selenis Leyva (born May 26, 1972) is a Cuban-born American actress. She is known for her role as Gloria Mendoza in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black.

Life and career[edit]

Leyva was born in Baracoa, Cuba and raised in the Bronx, New York City. She is of Cuban and Dominican descent.[1] She has appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions.[2] On television, Leyva had a recurring role of Detective Mariluz Rivera in Law & Order, and also appeared in different roles on the show and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has guest-starred on Third Watch, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Girls, and Elementary.

In 2013, Leyva began starring as Gloria Mendoza, a Latina leader in the jail, in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black. Her character was recurring for the first two seasons and she was promoted to series regular in Season 3.[3][4] In 2015, she co-starred opposite Viola Davis and Catalina Sandino Moreno in the courtroom drama film Custody directed and written by James Lapine.[5]

Leyva has one daughter, Alina.[6] She is a supporter of the LGBT community and revealed in June 2015 that her sister Marizol is transgender.[6][7][8][9]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Debutante Daisy Dominguez
2002 Apartment #5C Luisa
2004 Maria Full of Grace Customs Inspector
2007 Illegal Tender Wanda
Ben's Plan Maria
2009 Don't Let Me Drown Sonia
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Additional Voices Voice
2010 Sex and the City 2 Teacher
Trouble Child Trouble Child Short film
2011 Man in the Mirror Sonia Short film
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Additional Voices Voice
2013 Epic Additional Voices Voice
2014 Living with the Dead Dr. Quenda
2015 Chapter & Verse Yolanda
2016 Custody Jackie
I Can I Will I Did Maria
2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming Monica Warren


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Law & Order Louisa Episode: "Refuge: Part 2"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lorinda Gutierrez Episode: "Hysteria"
2001 The $treet Kate Episode: "Junk Bonds"
Law & Order DeeDee Salazar Episode: "Sunday in the Park with Jorge"
Taina Titi Rose Recurring role, 6 episodes
100 Centre Street Delfina Romero Episodes: "Kids: Part 1" and "Kids: Part 2"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Isabella Costas Episode: "Homo Homini Lupis"
2003 Third Watch Phyllis Episode: "Goodbye to All That"
2004 Third Watch Gonzalez Episode: "Leap of Faith"
Law & Order Nita Cabrera Episode: "Veteran's Day"
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Warden's Secretary Episode: "Prisoner"
2004–2006 Law & Order Detective Mariluz Rivera Recurring role, 18 episodes
2006 The Sopranos Jill Dibiaso Episode: "Live Free or Die"
2007 Dirty Sexy Money Detective Angelina Adams Episode: "Pilot"
2008 New Amsterdam Susan Boyle Episode: "Pilot"
2010 Law & Order Rona Henderson Episode: "Boy on Fire"
The Good Wife Marisol Episode: "Doubt"
The Whole Truth Claudia Episode: "Liars"
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Mariluz Rivera Episode: "Icarus"
Person of Interest Hosking Episode: "Number Crunch"
2011–2012 Blue Bloods Assistant M.E. Craig Recurring role, 4 episodes
2012 Girls Chastity Episode: "Hannah's Diary"
Elementary Sara Castillo Episode: "Child Predator"
2013 The Following Detective Morales Episode: "Chapter Two"
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Gloria Mendoza Recurring role (Seasons 1-2), Series regular (Season 3-)
ALMA Award for Outstanding Special Achievement in Television (2014)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2015–2016)
2015 Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 Herself Celebrity guest (8th Gala)
Madam Secretary Bolivian Ambassador Mariana Dominguez Episode: "The Time Is at Hand"
Veep Governor Ramos Episode: "B/ill"
2018 DuckTales (2017) M'ma Crackshell-Cabrera Episode: "Who is Gizmoduck?!"
Maniac Patricia Lugo Episode: "The Chosen One!"
Murphy Brown Maria Gonzales Episode: "Thanksgiving and Taking"


  1. ^ "Selenis Leyva Explains Why 'Orange Is The New Black' Is A Huge Step For Latinas". 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  2. ^ "Lortel Archives-The Internet Off-Broadway Database". Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Nick Sandow & Selenis Leyva Upped To Regulars On 'Orange Is The New Black'; Damon Wayans Jr. On 'New Girl'". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  4. ^ "TV Casting News For Selenis Leyva, Jocko Sims, Damon Wayans Jr, RZA|Shadow and Act". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  5. ^ "'OITNB' Star Selenis Leyva Says Gloria Will 'Come Undone' In Season 3". The Huffington Post. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b Serico, Chris (May 11, 2015). "'Orange is the New Black' star attends prom for ill teens -". Today. NBC. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  7. ^ Leyva, Selenis (June 3, 2015). "What Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair Cover Sparked For Me As Sister of Trans Woman | Selenis Leyva". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Nunez, Alanna (June 15, 2015). "Orange Is the New Black Star Selenis Leyva on Gloria, Motherhood, and Talking About Sex with Her Daughter". Cosmopolitan. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Erazo, Vanessa (June 3, 2015). "'Orange is the New Black' Actress Reveals Her Sister Is a Transgender Woman?". Remezcla. Retrieved October 1, 2015.

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