Con Air Guard
"I'm more interested in my life than I am in my career. I don't want to not work. I do enjoy working, but not to the point where that's the only thing I focus on." Rachel Ticotin.
Hailing from Bronx, character actress Rachel Ticotin started out as a dancer with the dance Company Ballet Hispanico of N.Y. She made her film acting debut as a drug-addicted nurse involved with policeman Paul Newman in "Fort Apache, the Bronx" (1981). Since then, she has been frequently cast as a police officer, prison guard, or other strong female with a physically demanding job, in such films as "Critical Condition" (1987), "Total Recall" (1990), "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995), "Con Air" (1997), "Something's Gotta Give" (2003), "Man on Fire" (2004) and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (2005). She will next be seen alongside Jessica Alba in the upcoming remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film, "The Eye."
On television, Ticotin has starred as a series regular on "For Love and Honor" (1983), "Ohara" (1987-1988), and "Crime and Punishment" (1993). In 2002, she played Vangie Gonzalez in the PBS drama series "American Family," and then starred as Laura Roam in the Fox's short-lived drama "Skin" in 2003.
More personally, the 5' 7" Latina player was married to "CSI: Miami" star David Caruso (1983-1989), with whom she has one daughter. Her second and present husband is Emmy-winning actor Peter Strauss.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to Abe Ticotin, a used car salesman, and Iris Ticotin, a Puerto Rican educator, Rachel Ticotin (pronounced "tick-oh-tin") was born November 1, 1958 in Bronx, New York. Her sister is Sahaj Ticotin, lead singer of the rock band Ra.
Young Ticotin attended the Professional Children's School, as well as the Ballet Hispanico of New York, where she took ballet lessons. From 1983 to 1989, she was married to "CSI: Miami" star David Caruso (born January 7, 1956), with whom she has one daughter, Greta, born June 1, 1984. On December 31, 1998, Ticotin married her second and present husband, Emmy-winning actor Peter Strauss (born February 20, 1947).
Ticotin currently resides in Los Angeles.
Starting dance lessons at age eight, Rachel Ticotin made her first stage appearance at age 10, playing a princess in a production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's musical "The King and I" at the local NYC's City Center Theatre. At age twelve, she joined Tina Ramirez's Ballet Hispanico of New York, where she worked with such choreographers as Alvin Ailey, Geoffrey Holder and Anna Sokolow.
At age 20, Ticotin made her feature debut, playing a Gypsy dancer, in the Golden Globe-nominated adaptation of Peter Maas' book, "King of the Gypsies" (1978; starring Eric Roberts, Sterling Hayden and Judd Hirsch). She also made stage acting debut in Baltimore run of "The Me Nobody Knows" and acted on the Off-Broadway production of Miguel Piñero's ''The Sun Always Shines for the Cool.''
In the late 1970s, Ticotin began regular employment in film as a production assistant on Philip Kaufman's adaptation of the novel by Richard Price, "The Wanderers." She also worked as production assistant on Brian De Palma's "Dressed to Kill" (1980) and Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" (1980). Additionally, she was credited as dance assistant on Arthur Penn's "Four Friends" (1981).
During that same year, Ticotin landed her first big break came when she was cast as Isabella, a drug-addicted nurse involved with Paul Newman's policeman character, in the movie "Fort Apache, The Bronx." That same year, she was also listed as one of 12 promising New Actors in John Willis Screen World Vol.33.
Ticotin then retreated to the small screen, making her debut as TV series regular on the short-lived NBC military drama "For Love and Honor" (1983), playing Corporal Grace Pavlik. She also appeared in her first TV movie, "Love, Mary" (1985), as a counselor who discovers Kristy McNichol's character is dyslexic.
In 1987, Ticoting returned to the wide screen, playing her first feature lead, opposite Richard Pryor, in Michael Apted's comedy "Critical Condition." Also in that year, she played Asst. US Attorney Teresa Storm, during the second season of "Ohara," an ailing cop show vehicle for Pat Morita.
Entering the new decade, Ticotin marked her first major feature with Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi film "Total Recall" (1990), opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her performance as the mysterious Melina later earned her a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Afterwards, Ticotin co-starred as Detective Annette Rey in the short-lived NBC cop drama "Crime & Punishment" (1993), starred with Johnny Depp in writer/director Jeremy Leven's Oscar-nominated romantic drama/comedy "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995), and lent her voice to recurring character Captain Maria Chavez (1996) in the popular Disney syndicated cartoon series "Gargoyles." She also received wider attention for playing guard Sally Bishop in the Simon West-directed, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action/thriller movie "Con Air" (1997), opposite Nicolas Cage. For her turn in the film, she received nominations at the ALMA Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film and at Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Supporting Actress – Action/Adventure. That same year, her TV work in the fact-based TV movie "First Time Felon," in which she acted opposite Omar Epps, also received an ALMA Award nomination, for Outstanding Actress in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series.
In 2002, Ticotin played Vangie Gonzalez in the PBS drama series starring Edward James Olmos and Constance Marie, "American Family," and then starred as Laura Roam in the Fox's short-lived drama "Skin" in 2003, which was cancelled after only three episodes (of a total of nine episodes produced) due to poor ratings and less than favorable reviews.
Returning on the big screen, Ticotin played a bit part opposite Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in writer/director Nancy Meyers' Oscar-nominated romantic comedy film "Something's Gotta Give" (2003). In the next years, she could be seen alongside Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning in Tony Scott's remake of the 1987 film, "Man on Fire" (2004), which based on a series of books by author A. J. Quinnell with the same name about a former Marine and Foreign Legionnaire turned mercenary, and portrayed America Ferrera's mother in the film version of bestselling young adult novel by Ann Brashares, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (2005).
From 2005-2006, Ticotin played Captain Teresa Cortez, in the ABC survival drama series "Lost." She most recently be seen as a woman in jail cell in a June 2007 episode of HBO drama series "John from Cincinnati." Next, Ticotin will support Jessica Alba in an upcoming remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film, "The Eye," about a woman who receives an eye transplant that allows her to see into the supernatural world.
"If you care about yourself and what you do you get nervous about it. You just don't take the money and go home." Rachel Ticotin (on being a tough critic of her own acting).