Lauren Vélez: American actress (1964-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Lauren Vélez
American actress

Lauren Vélez

Lauren Vélez
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Is Actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 2 November 1964, New York City
Age 58 years
Lauren Vélez
The details (from wikipedia)


Lauren Luna Vélez (born November 2, 1964) is an American actress and the twin sister of actress Lorraine Vélez. Her most notable roles are as María LaGuerta on Showtime's Dexter, Detective Nina Moreno on Fox's New York Undercover, Dr. Gloria Nathan on HBO's prison drama Oz, and Elena on ABC's comedy-drama Ugly Betty.

Early years

Lauren's parents moved from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s and lived in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, where she and her twin sister, Loraine Vélez, were born. The twins have five other sisters and one brother. Lauren's father, a New York City Police Department officer, eventually bought a house in Far Rockaway, Queens, and moved there with the family. The twins enjoyed setting up improvised plays and acting for the family, and they participated in nearly all their high school productions, such as, Fiddler on the Roof. After graduating from high school, they each received scholarships to attend the Alvin Ailey Dance School. They both went on to study acting at the Acting Studio with its founding artistic director James Price, the protégé and personal friend of Sanford Meisner. In addition, Lauren studied Shakespeare with Michael Howard.


Vélez landed her first job performing in the national touring company of the musical Dreamgirls. Vélez also played understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, and she performed Off-Broadway in the productions of Much Ado About Nothing.

In 1995, Vélez landed her first major television role. She was cast as Nina Moreno, a policewoman in the TV series New York Undercover. That same year, she also made her film debut as Lisette Linares in the movie I Like It Like That, alongside Rita Moreno and Jon Seda. She was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and The Desi Award for Best Lead Actress. The movie was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards and won an NYFCCA award. Another TV series in which she performed was HBO's jail drama, Oz. She also acted in the feature film City Hall (1996), with Al Pacino. In 1997, Vélez starred in Buscando un Sueño (English: In Search of a Dream), the first Spanish language film sanctioned by SAG. Vélez again played a police lieutenant, in a supporting role on Showtime's series Dexter.

On June 24, 2006, she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2006 Long Island International Film Expo for her performance as Roseanne Crystal in the independent feature film, Serial.

In 2010, she received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA).


Year Title Role Notes
1994 I Like It Like That Lisette Linares Independent Spirit Awards for Best Female Lead
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Claudine Palmeri "The Hit Paradise" (Season 1, Episode 14)
1995–1998 New York Undercover Det. Nina Moreno TV series
NCLR Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (1998)
Nominated — Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1997, 1998)
1996 City Hall Elaine Santos Nominated — NCLR Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
1997 Buscando un Sueño ("In Search of a Dream")
1997–2003 Oz Dr. Gloria Nathan ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series (2001)
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series (1999, 2000, 2002)
1997 I Think I Do Carol Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
1998 Thicker Than Blood Camilla López Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in Made-for Television Movie or Mini-Series
1998 The LaMastas
1999 Strange World Detective Arias "Azrael's Breed" (Season 1, Episode 9)
1999 St. Michael's Crossing Vicki Solera
1999 Taino Laura
1999, 2002 Law & Order Miss Torez (Defence Attorney), Bermuda Air Attendant "Marathon" (Season 10, Episode 6)
"Hitman" (Season 13, Episode 6)
2000 Profiler Emily Sadler "Clean Sweep" (Season 4, Episode 10)
2000 The Pretender Emily Sadler "Spin Doctor" (Season 4, Episode 10)
2000 Prince of Central Park Rosa Sánchez
2001 Love and Treason Agent Susan Mestre
2001 Prison Song Prison Counselor
2003 Dragnet Det. Denise Beltran "Redemption" (Season 1, Episode 9)
"For Whom the Whistle Blows" (Season 1, Episode 11)
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Attorney Shamel "Home" (Season 5, Episode 16)
"Obscene" (Season 6, Episode 3)
2005 Strong Medicine Dr. Vanessa Burke "First Response" (Season 5, Episode 20)
2005 Barely Buzzed María Vásquez
2005 Wanted Faye Templeton "The Last Temptation" (Season 1, Episode 12)
2006 Medium Elena Cabrera "Knowing Her" (Season 2, Episode 19)
2006–2007 Numb3rs Claudia Gomez "Undercurrents" (Season 2, Episode 23)
"Hardball" (Season 3, Episode 8)
"Contenders" (Season 3, Episode 16)
2006–2012 Dexter Cpt. María LaGuerta NAMIC Vision Award for Best Actress - Drama
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (2007, 2008)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2008 - 2011)
2007 Serial Roseanne Crystal Long Island International Film Expo for Best Supporting Actress
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Officer Lois Melago "Purgatory" (Season 7, Episode 11)
2009–2010 Ugly Betty Elena "Kissed Off" (Season 3, Episode 13)
"The Courtship of Betty's Father" (Season 3, Episode 14)
"There's No Place Like Mode" (Season 3, Episode 15)
"Things Fall Apart" (Season 3, Episode 16)
"A Mother of a Problem" (Season 3, Episode 18)
"The Past Presents the Future" (Season 4, Episode 19)
2011 Breakout Kings Carmen Vega "Where in the World is Carmen Vega" (Season 1, Episode 13)
2011 HawthoRNe Dr. Kat "For Better of For Worse" (Season 3, Episode 1)
2011 Rosewood Lane Paula Crenshaw
2014 Unforgettable Aisha Conway "Fire and Ice" (Season 3, Episode 10)
2016 Elementary Zoe Marcado "Art Imitating Art" (Season 4, Episode 20)
2016 How to Get Away with Murder Recurring Role

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