Luna Lauren Velez
Luna Lauren 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. Vélez landed her first performing job in the national touring company of the musical Dreamgirls. She was also understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, and performed Off-Broadway in productions of Much Ado About Nothing. In 1995, Vélez landed her first major television role as Nina Moreno, a policewoman, in the TV series New York Undercover. That 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, she starred in Buscando un Sueño (In Search of a Dream), the first Spanish-language film sanctioned by SAG. She again played a police lieutenant, in a major supporting role on Showtime's series Dexter. On June 24, 2006, Vélez 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).
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