When I caught the first episode of the second season of Dexter, I exclaimed to myself, “Yay, Kim Fields is back on TV!” I rejoiced over this fact for the next three episodes. Imagine my shame when I discovered that Lt. Maria Laguerta is played by Lauren Velez, not Kim Fields.
Oh, the agony; oh, the shame! But seriously, were Velez and Fields separated at birth? Take a look for yourself.
I would have saved myself all this embarrassment had I just read the opening and closing credits, but leave it to me to just jump right in. I may have made a complete fool of myself, but at least I can go down claiming that “I Ain’t Never Scared (to make a fool of me).”
But back to the subject at hand. Showtime’s bio on Velez reads as follows:
LAUREN VÉLEZ first appeared in the 1994 feature film I Like It Like That, which centered [on] a Latino family struggling to stay together amidst the stresses of life, earning Vélez an Independent Spirit Award. She also starred in City Hall, opposite Al Pacino, and in Prince of the City, opposite Danny Aiello and Kathleen Turner. From 1997-2003, Vélez starred on Oz, winning an ALMA Award for her role as Dr. Gloria Nathan. However, she is perhaps best known for her role as Nina Moreno on the cop drama New York Undercover. She also starred in the pilot for Strong Medicine: First Response and has appeared in Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Medium and The Pretender, as well as Numb3rs on CBS. For Dexter, Lauren Vélez was recently nominated for another ALMA award.
And IMDb.com offers the following:
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York among eight siblings including her twin sister Lorraine, Lauren Velez dreamed of becoming an actress ever since she played a groundhog in a school play in second grade. Immediately following high school, she received a scholarship from the Alvin Ailey Dance School, which led to her first job performing in the national touring company of the musical Dreamgirls. Later she became understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Broadway’s Into the Woods. Her most visible role was that of Nina Moreno on the cop drama New York Undercover” (1994). With her varied performances and Afro-Latin background and appearance, Velez’s success is considered — by fans and critics alike — a breakthrough for Latina actresses who do not fit the stereotypical “Europeanized Hollywood” version of Latin females. As a result, Velez deservedly has a large multi-ethnic following.
So, the conclusion is that not only is Velez gorgeous, but she’s also intelligent, works hard and is good at what she does.
What say you: Are you a viewer of Dexter, and do you know of Velez?