“I had done my parts in fantasy shows and sci-fi shows. By the time 'Firefly' came to me, I was done. I didn’t want to get on another ship. I didn’t want to get into tight leather, pleather, any combination of the two and then I read his concept for this world and it had so little to do with science fiction and everything to do with human drama and that’s what fascinated me about it.” Gina Torres
A trained mezzo soprano, Gina Torres began her performing career as a singer and a stage actress and made her Broadway debut in 1994's musical “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public.” She subsequently appeared in such TV series as “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “Cleopatra 2525,” “Angel,” “24,” "Justice League," "The Shield," “Alias,” and "Standoff," but was best recognized for her role as Zoë in “Firefly” (2002-2003) and its film version, “Serenity” (2005). She also played Cas in “The Matrix” franchise and has starred in the films "Bed of Roses" (1996), "I Think I Love My Wife" (2007), and the award-winning indie “South of Pico” (2007).
This 5' 10" statuesque exotic beauty has been married to award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne since 2002 and has one daughter with him.
“What's wonderful about the fans I've encountered is their acceptance of who I am and how I do what I do. They get me on a level that industry people usually don't. There's no politics, only appreciation.” Gina Torres
Childhood and Family:
Born in Manhattan, New York, on April 25, 1969, Gina Torres was raised in the Bronx in a close-knit Cuban American family. Her parents are both of Cuban descent and her father worked as a typesetter for La Prensa and the New York Daily News.
The youngest of three children, Torres attended the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and New York City's prestigious High School of Music and Art.
“Ever since I can remember I wanted to perform, needed to perform. My junior high school chorus director made the mistake of giving me a solo in an eighth-grade production of ‘Barnum’ and when I got my first round of applause, it was mother’s milk. It’s what’s called ‘being bitten.’” Gina Torres
On a blind date in 1995, Torres met actor Laurence Fishburne (born July 30, 1961). They became engaged in December 2000 and first announced their engagement in May 2001. The couple again mentioned engagement on “The Tonight Show” in August 2001 and were married on September 20, 2002, at The Cloisters Museum in New York City. They have one daughter, Delilah, who was born in June 2007. Torres and her family now reside in New Rochelle, NY.
"Stage is my first love, absolutely. It's hard work, but it's so rewarding. It's immediate gratification. You know if they love you and you know if they don't. The audience is definitely the ‘other character’ in a play. They figure greatly into the energy and how it goes and how you feel and what you work towards. A live performance is a living thing. It changes every night. You're saying the same words and it's the same people you're working with day in and day out, but it's a living, breathing, thing because it's live. You have to be prepared for that." Gina Torres
A gifted mezzo soprano who began her performing career as a singer, Gina Torres was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir. The talented vocalist, who once worked as a receptionist at the Lincoln Center Theater Company, subsequently branched out as a stage actor and made her professional debut as the lead in “Dreamgirls” in a Connecticut production.
In 1993, Torres made her Broadway debut in the musical “Face Value,” but the play never officially opened. She eventually appeared in her first Broadway performance in the following year's musical “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public,” originating the role of Terri Clark. Her performance gained the attention of producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, whom cast her in her first TV movie, “M.A.N.T.I.S.” (Fox; 1994), starring Carl Lumbly. Two years later, she landed a bit part in the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live,” where she was brought back several times in 1996 to portray different characters.
Torres made her feature film debut in writer/director Michael Goldenberg's romantic drama “Bed of Roses” (1996), starring Mary Stuart Masterson and Christian Slater. She then began portraying the recurring character Nebula on the syndicated series very loosely based on the tales of the classical Greek culture hero, “Hercules: The Legendary Journey,” where she stayed from 1997 to 1999.
Entering the new millennium, Torres was reunited with producers Raimi and Tapert to play the role of Helen Carter in the television series “Cleopatra 2525” (2000-2001), which won her an ALMA Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series. Afterward, from 2001 to 2006, she had the recurring role of Jennifer Garner's ruthless nemesis, Russian-accented Anna Espinosa, on the hit ABC series “Alias.”
“I am not a big lover of guns. They have their place. Certainly not in my world or in my home but in my work I've had to handle them quite a bit. It was a firearm that I spent part of the year strapped to my hip, so I'm comfortable with my sawed-off.” Gina Torres
Torres was next cast by creator Joss Whedon as Zoë Washburne, the first mate on Serenity, in the short-lived sci-fi series on Fox, “Firefly” (2002-2003). She would later reprise her role in the feature adaptation “Serenity” (2005). About her character, Torres described, "I play Zoe Washburn, who is the captain's right hand on the Serenity firefly craft, a spaceship. I also happened to be married to the pilot, played by Alan Tudyk (I Robot)."
2003 saw Torres cast as Cas in the Wachowski brothers' “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” the 2003 sequels to the 1999 blockbuster “The Matrix.” She also portrayed Jasmine during the season four of The WB supernatural drama series "Angel," which earned her a Golden Satellite Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama.
The following year, Torres played Julia Milliken on the hit Fox drama starring Kiefer Sutherland, “24.” She went on to play a terrorist in Laurence Malkin's dramatic thriller “Five Fingers” (released in 2006), opposite husband Laurence Fishburne.
About the film, Torres explained, "It's about a young idealist man, played by Ryan Philippe, who is kidnapped and then held for interrogation. He is being interrogated by Muslim fundamentalists, played by myself and Laurence Fishburne. It's very timely with what's going on in the world today."
From 2006 to 2007 Torres starred as Cheryl Carrera, the supervisor of a FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit, on the Fox drama series "Standoff," alongside Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt.
“When I read the script, I thought, ‘OK great! Here’s a woman who is fully realized, who is a professional.' She is in present-day. She’s not on a ship. I’m not eating people or consuming them.” Gina Torres (on her character in "Standoff")
During this time, she was also cast as the lovely wife of Chris Rock’s character in the romantic movie “I Think I Love My Wife” (2007) and co-starred with Kip Pardue and Henry Simmons in Ernst Gossner's character-driven drama film, "South of Pico" (2007), playing the fragile waitress Carla. She was also spotted as a guest on "The Shield," "Without a Trace," "Pushing Daisies," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Boston Legal," "Eli Stone," "Bones," and "Criminal Minds." She will next be seen in the upcoming drama film "Don't Let Me Drown" and the TV movie "Applause for Miss E."
“It's all I know how to do and it's all I want to do. This is my plan 'A' and I don't have a plan 'B'.” Gina Torres (on why she acts)
ALMA: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series, "Cleopatra 2525," 2001