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Brooke Elliott

Gina Torres Biography

Home > Actresses > T > Torres, Gina > Biography

Birth Name: Gina Torres
Born: 04/25/1969
Birth Place: New York, USA

Born April 25, 1969 in New York City, NY, Torres was raised in a primarily Latino Bronx neighborhood near the Grand Concourse. Born to Cuban-American parents, Torres grew up immersed in the Latin music and culture of her neighborhood. She attended the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in Manhattan as a vocal major, studying various musical styles from opera to jazz. Forgoing college after graduation in order to pursue a musical career, Torres landed an internship at the Lincoln Center Theater Company. While working at Lincoln Center, Torres landed an audition for the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes." Though she was not cast, Torres found an agent through the audition and thus, quickly landed a part in a Bridgeport, CT production of the musical, "Dreamgirls." Joining the Company Theater for New Audiences, Torres performed in productions of "Raisin in the Sun" and "Antigone." Torres went on to perform at Baltimore Center Stage and in a New York Public Theatre production of "Blood Wedding."

Branching out from her theatre roots, Torres began the natural progression of auditioning for television roles. She landed a small role on the daytime soap "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968- ) in 1995. Next, Torres landed roles in episodes of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990- ) and "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005). Still active in theatre, Torres was cast as an understudy in the Broadway play "Face Value," and was asked to step into the lead after the previous actress left the cast. Though the show ran a week of previews, it never officially opened. Getting another shot at Broadway however, Torres was cast in "The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public" by the show's director, Tommy Tune. Though the show had a big opening night on Broadway, it also had a short run at only two weeks. Returning to TV, Torres' luck began to change. She landed a lead role in the pilot for the FOX sci-fi series "M.A.N.T.I.S." (1994-95). Though the pilot was picked up for series, Torres got lost in the shuffle and did not appear beyond the pilot. Undaunted, the talented actress went on to appear in a series of smaller roles in the films "Bed of Roses" (1996) and "The Substance of Fire" (1996), as well as in the TV series "Profiler" (NBC, 1996-2000) and "La Femme Nikita" (USA, 1997-2001).

Much to the future delight of internet fan-boys, Torres received her first big break in 1998 when the producers of "M.A.N.T.I.S." tapped her for a role on the USA adventure series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (1995-99) opposite Kevin Sorbo. Cast in the role of Nebula, Torres appeared in a recurring role on the series, also appearing in its spin-off, "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995-2001). Next, Torres was cast in the lead role of Hel in the futuristic sci-fi series "Cleopatra 2525" (2000-01). Though the show only lasted one season, it gained cult status among fans and earned Torres notice. Torres went on to land a recurring role on the ABC hit "Alias" (2001-06) and was cast in the lead role of Zoë Washburne on the Joss Whedon sci-fi western series "Firefly" (FOX, 2002). Though the series was cancelled after only 11 episodes, it proved to have a dedicated fan base on DVD and was later resurrected on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2005. Torres also appeared in a recurring role on Whedon's more successful series "Angel" (WB, 1999-2004). Landing her first major film role, Torres was cast opposite Laurence Fishburne as Cas in the sci-fi blockbusters "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003) and "The Matrix Revolutions" (2003). Meeting Fishburne during the back-to-back film shoot in 2001, Torres went on to marry her co-star in New York in September of 2002.

In 2004, Torres appeared on the popular crime drama "CSI" (CBS, 2000- ) as well as landed a recurring role on the FOX mega hit "24" (2001- ), portraying Julia Milliken in the show's third season. Torres also provided voice over work for the animated series "Justice League" (2001- ) and the video game "The Matrix Online" (2005). Reprising her "Firefly" role in 2005 - three years after the show went off the air - Torres starred in the much hyped feature film follow-up to the series, "Serenity." Though fans were thrilled at the big-screen resurrection of the series, the film failed to deliver at the box office.

Taking a break from her sci-fi fantasy gigs, Torres got gritty, appearing in a small but pivotal role on "The Shield" (FX, 2002- ). Torres portrayed the mentally ill and estranged wife, Sadie, of IAD investigator Lt. Jon Kavanaugh (Forest Whitaker). In a daring turn on the final episode of the fifth season ("Postpartum"), Torres appeared nude from the rear during a graphic sex scene with Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis). After the fan-boy internet buzz settled down, Torres worked once again with husband Fishburne, in the film "Five Fingers" in 2006. Prior to filming "Five Fingers," Torres landed a regular role in "Standoff" (Fox, 2006- ) as the boss of an FBI hostage negotiation team who is loathe to discover that two of her agents (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) are romantically involved. She returned to the feature world with "I Think I Still Love My Wife" (2007), playing the wife of a bored businessman (Chris Rock) whose refusal to have sex leads him to consider infidelity with an old flame (Kerry Washington).