A dark-haired starlet whose beauty recalls that of Andie MacDowell, multi-talented stage and screen actress Trini Alvarado has been appearing onscreen since the late '70s, though it wasn't until the following decade that her star truly began to shine. Born in New York City in July of 1967, Alvarado's father was a Spanish singer and her mother a Puerto Rican dancer. The precocious youngster made her stage debut in her parents flamenco troupe at age seven, and by age nine made her professional stage debut in the musical Becca. Alvarado would refine her skills at New York City's Professional Children's School, and subsequently continue her studies at Fordham University. By age 11, the burgeoning young actress had landed her first leading role on Broadway (in Joseph Papp's Runaways) and made her film debut (an uncredited role in 1977's The Magic Pony Ride). Blessed with a remarkable singing voice that virtually ensured a stellar career on Broadway, Alvarado would nevertheless gravitate ever closer to a career in film.
Following an impressive lead as a child of divorce struggling to understand her situation in 1979's Rich Kids, it seemed that Alvarado celluloid career was on the rise. And though she would follow up with a handful of roles in made-for-television features in addition to roles in such notable theatrical releases as Mrs. Soffel (1984), Sweet Lorraine (1987), and Stella (1990), it seems that both critics and audiences had yet to recognize that talent so obvious to the directors who hired her. The release of 1994's Little Women proved a bit of a turning point in terms of audience recognition, and her role as the oldest sister was a perfect showcase for Alvarado's remarkable versatility and dramatic ability. Joining another, albeit more nontraditional family with the release of the following year's The Perez Family, Alvarado's turn as a Cuban refugee seeking asylum in the United States showed she could hold her own alongside such talented co-stars as Anjelica Huston and Alfred Molina. Though the following year's The Frighteners may not have been a box-office smash, Alvarado did fare well in the role of a grieving widow doing battle with the undead. With the exception of Paulie, Alvarado's subsequent roles were in the made-for-television features The Christmas Tree (1996), The Last Dance (2000), and Bitter Winter (2001).