Morena Baccarin

Active - 2001 - 2020  |   Born - Jun 2, 1979 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  |   Genres - Science Fiction, Comedy Drama, Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

When she took her on-camera bow in the early 2000s, Brazilian-born actress Morena Baccarin maintained equal footing in the film and television arenas, typically filling parts that called for an exotic ingenue with an undercurrent of raw intelligence. Feature roles included the evocation of a gifted and brilliant young actress typecast by gender at the hands of sexist casting directors in Daniel Kay's ensemble comedy drama Way Off Broadway (2001) and a bit part in the 2002 comedy Roger Dodger (as a pickup). Baccarin's regular small-screen role on the 2002 sci-fi-Western hybrid series Firefly -- as Inara, a "companion" (a well-respected courtesan) on board a futuristic spaceship -- yielded an assignment to reprise that characterization in the big-screen adaptation of that series, Serenity (2005). After taking on guest roles on such small-screen programs as The O.C., Justice League, and Stargate SG-1, Baccarin landed regular billing as a nurse on the series medical drama Heartland (2007), opposite Treat Williams and Dabney Coleman. She continued to find steady work on the small screen with supporting roles in the reboot of ABC's sci-fi series V, as well as in the award-winning spy series Homeland; she later recurred on The Flash before joining the cast of Gotham

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  • The daughter of popular Brazilian actor Vera Setta, Baccarin was born in her mother's home country, but raised in New York's Greenwich Village.
  • While attending Juilliard, served as Natalie Portman's understudy in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of The Seagull.
  • First feature-film role came in 2001 with the indie drama Perfume.
  • Made her TV debut as Inara Serra on Joss Whedon's cult sci-fi series Firefly (2002-03); reprised her role in the franchise's 2005 big-screen outing, Serenity.
  • Was cast as a transsexual in the unaired pilot of the television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in 2005.
  • Returned to series-regular work in 2007 with the role of Nurse Jessica Kivala on TNT medical drama Heartland.