Talisa Soto

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Talisa Soto
Talisa Soto.png
Soto in 2000
Miriam Soto

(1967-03-27) March 27, 1967 (age 56)[1][2]
New York City, U.S.[3]
Other namesDesiree More
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1982–2013
Known forLupe Lamora – Licence to Kill
Princess KitanaMortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)

Miriam Soto (born March 27, 1967) is an American former actress and former model. She is known for portraying Bond girl Lupe Lamora in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, and as Kitana in the 1995 fantasy action film Mortal Kombat and its 1997 sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Prior to her acting career, Soto worked as a model, appearing in magazines such as Mademoiselle, Glamour and Elle.

Early life[edit]

Soto was born in Brooklyn, New York City,[4] the youngest of four children of parents who moved to New York from Puerto Rico.[5] During her early childhood, her parents moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Soto and her siblings were raised and educated in public schools.[6]



At age 15, Soto signed with Click Model Management and began modeling during summer vacations. Weeks after being signed, she traveled to Paris where she appeared in a layout for Vogue shot by Bruce Weber. Soto returned to Northampton after the summer to resume her schooling. She modeled only on occasion until after she graduated from high school.[6]

She later was featured on the covers of American and British Vogue, British Elle, Mademoiselle, Glamour and Self magazines. Soto has also been featured in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Cartier, Clarins, Revlon, Salvatore Ferragamo, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Versace.[7]

Soto appeared in her first music video with former boyfriend Nick Kamen, behind Madonna's song "Each Time You Break My Heart", directed by Tony Viramontes.[6] Soto and Kamen were often used as models by Ray Petri, the late fashion stylist and creator of the 1980s London "Buffalo Boy" look.[8]


In 1988, when Soto returned to the United States, she auditioned and landed the role of "India" in her feature debut, Spike of Bensonhurst, a comedy starring Sasha Mitchell and Ernest Borgnine. In 1988, Soto was cast as Lupe Lamora, in the James Bond film Licence to Kill, starring Timothy Dalton, and as Maria Rivera in The Mambo Kings.

Soto appeared in more than twenty films, including Mortal Kombat (1995) as Kitana; Island of the Dead as Melissa O'Keefe; Piñero (2001) as Sugar, starring Benjamin Bratt; and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) as Ryne alongside Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas. Soto also made two guest appearances on the television series C-16: FBI.

In 1995, she played the role of Doña Julia, Johnny Depp's first love interest in the tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco, Depp playing the title role. She also made an appearance in Marc Anthony's music video for "I Need to Know". In 1996, Soto played the title role in the campy film Vampirella based on the comic book character. Her last major film appearance was in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever before retiring from acting after marrying Benjamin Bratt.[9]

She made one more film, La Mission (2009), which was directed by her brother-in-law Peter Bratt.[9]

Public image[edit]

In 1990, Soto was chosen by People as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.[10] In 1995, she was featured in the Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Issue".[7] She was ranked #58 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1997, Soto married actor Costas Mandylor. They divorced in 2000.[9]

Soto and actor Benjamin Bratt began a relationship when they attended the premiere of Piñero at the Montreal World Film Festival. They had played lovers in the film.[12] They married on April 13, 2002, in San Francisco, and have two children.[13][12]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village Studio Dancer Uncredited
1988 The French as Seen By... French Girl Episode: "The Cowboy and the Frenchman"
1988 Spike of Bensonhurst India
1989 Licence to Kill Lupe Lamora
1990 Silhouette Marianna Herrera Television film
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Rosina Television film
1992 The Mambo Kings Maria Rivera
1992 Hostage Joanna
1993–1994 Harts of the West Cassie 15 episodes
1994 Don Juan DeMarco Doña Julia
1995 Mortal Kombat Princess Kitana
1996 Spy Hard Seductress In Hotel Room Credited as Desiree More
1996 The Sunchaser Navajo Woman
1996 Vampirella Vampirella Direct-to-video
1997 Flypaper Amanda
1997 The Corporate Ladder Susan Taylor
1997 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Princess Kitana
1998 C-16: FBI Rosemary Vargas 2 episodes
2000 That Summer in L.A. Marisabel
2000 Flight of Fancy Mercedes Marquez Alternative titles: Facing Fear
2000 Island of the Dead Melissa O'Keefe Television film
2001 Piñero 'Sugar'
2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Rayne Ecks / Vinn Gant
2009 La Mission Ana Credited as Talisa Soto Bratt
2013 Elysium Tisha Uncredited

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film
1989 ShoWest Convention Won Female Star of Tomorrow
2002 ALMA Award Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Piñero


  1. ^ Tomassini, Christine (May 26, 2003). Magill's Cinema Annual. Gale Research International, Limited. ISBN 9781558624597 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ DeMichael, Tom (December 1, 2012). James Bond FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Everyone's Favorite Superspy. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781480337855 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Candelaria, Cordelia (December 26, 2004). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313332111 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Candelaria, Cordelia; Aldama, Arturo J.; García, Peter J. (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture. Vol. 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 778. ISBN 0-313-32215-5.
  5. ^ Miller, Samantha (April 29, 2002). "Benjamin's Surprise". People. 57 (16). ISSN 0093-7673.
  6. ^ a b c "Talisa Soto: Catwalk Queen Strides To New Life". New Sunday Times: 2. July 23, 1989.
  7. ^ a b Talisa Soto at Fashion Model Directory
  8. ^ Limnander, Armand (October 19, 2009). "Ray Petri's Enduring Style". nytimes.com. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c "Talisa Soto Biography (1967-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  10. ^ "50 Most Beautiful People". People: 57. May 9, 1990. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  11. ^ "The 2002 Hot 100 List". maxim.com. April 20, 2009. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Benjamin Bratt & Wife Have a Boy". People. October 7, 2005. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  13. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (December 17, 2002). "New Bratt in the House for Ben, Talisa". People. Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2009.

External links[edit]