Patricia Velásquez

Active - 1996 - 2019  |   Born - Jan 31, 1971 in La Guajira, Venezuela  |   Genres - Comedy, Adventure, Horror, Thriller, Sports & Recreation

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Biography by Sarah Sloboda

Patricia Velasquez, a model-turned-actress, was born on January 31, 1971, in Guajira, Venezuela, where she grew up. After graduating from San Vincente de Paul High School in 1987, she completed a year of college before being discovered and flying off to Milan, Italy, to begin her modeling career. Her exotic beauty bestowed her with enormous success in runway and print modeling for top designers, and in 1994, she appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Video.

Velasquez made her acting debut in 1996 in Le Jaguar, but it wasn't until 1999 that she was really noticed with her role in The Mummy. She kept busy with three other films that same year: Beowulf, No Vacancy, and Façade. The Mummy had earned her spotlight enough to compete for screen attention with Heather Graham in Committed (2000). In addition to roles in other films like Turn It Up and Saint Bernard (both 2000), Velasquez had appeared on television in the miniseries Fidel and the series Ed in 2001. Also, in 2001, she acted in the sequel to the film that had brought her acting breakthrough, The Mummy Returns. Velasquez had recurring roles on Arrested Development and The L Word, and she appeared on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012.

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  • Planned to work in the oil industry before being discovered by a modeling scout.
  • Became the first Latina supermodel to work on the runway for Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Carolina Herrera.
  • Appeared on the covers of Vogue, Bazaar and Marie Claire.
  • Designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2003 for her humanitarian efforts, including starting the Wayuu Taya Foundation to help indigenous people in the region of Venezuela where she was born.
  • Received the Women Together Award at the UN in 2009.
  • Launched a hair-care collection called Taya Beauty in 2011.