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 44)
Baracoa, Cuba
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999-present
Children 1

Selenis Leyva (born May 26, 1972) is a Cuban-born American actress, 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, 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]

Personal life[edit]

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
2007 Ben's Plan Maria
2009 Don't Let Me Drown Sonia
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Additional Voices Voice
2010 Sex and the City 2 Teacher
2010 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
2016 I Can I Will I Did Maria
2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming Ms. Warren


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Law & Order Louisa Episode: "Refuge: Part 2"
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lorinda Gutierrez Episode: "Hysteria"
2001 The $treet Kate Episode: "Junk Bonds"
2001 Law & Order DeeDee Salazar Episode: "Sunday in the Park with Jorge"
2001 Taina Titi Rose Recurring role, 6 episodes
2001 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"
2004 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"
2010 The Good Wife Marisol Episode: "Doubt"
2010 The Whole Truth Claudia Episode: "Liars"
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Mariluz Rivera Episode: "Icarus"
2011 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"
2012 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)
2015 Madam Secretary Bolivian Ambassador Mariana Dominguez Episode: "The Time Is at Hand"
2015 Veep Governor Ramos Episode: "B/ill"


External links[edit]