Wanda De Jesus
Birth Date:
Manhattan, New York, USA
Birth Place:
August 26, 1960
5' 4" (1.63 m)
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Almost a Woman


Puerto Rican American actress Wanda De Jesus is maybe best known for her roles as Santana Andrade (#4) on NBC's soap opera “Santa Barbara” (1991-1992) and as Latina homicide detective Adell Sevilla on CBS's crime series “CSI: Miami” (2002-2003). She won an Imagen Foundation Award for her starring role on  the television film “Almost a Woman” (2001) and was nominated for a NCLR Bravo Award  for her performance in the UPN series “Live Shot” (1995). Recent soap opera fans may recognize her for playing Iris Blanco on ABC's “All My Children” (2010). On the wide screen, De Jesus picked up an Imagen Foundation nomination for her role on Franc. Reyes' “Illegal Tender” (2007). Other films she has appeared in include “RoboCop 2” (1992), “The Insider” (1999), “Flawless” (1999), “Ghosts of Mars” (2001), “Blood Work” (2002) and “The Ministers” (2009).     

De Jesus has been linked to actor Jimmy Smits since 1986. The couple live in Los Angeles, California.

Manhattan Girl

Childhood and Family:

Wanda De Jesus was born on August 26, 1958, in Manhattan, New York.  

CSI: Miami


Wanda De Jesus made her television acting debut in 1986 in the NBC soap opera “Another World,”  playing Gomez. In the following year, she landed the role of Leda Cervantes on the short lived drama series “Mariah,” opposite John Getz, Tovah Feldshuh and Philip Baker Hall. She went on to make guest appearances in “L.A. Law” (1987, as Ms. Santiago), “Pursuit of Happiness” (1988, as Mrs. Lopez) and “Tales from the Darkside” (1988), and to appear in her first television movie, an adaptation of Lillian O'Donnell's novel, “Prime Target” (1989), starring Angie Dickinson, Joseph Bologna and David Soul.

In 1990, De Jesus broke into the big screen when she landed the supporting role of Luisa Diaz on the Richard Benjamin directed police action/comedy film “Downtown.” It was quickly followed by a small turn as Estevez on “RoboCop 2” (1990), a sequel to the 1987 film “RoboCop,” which was directed by Irvin Kershner and starred Peter Weller. The same year, she also portrayed Suzita in the TV miniseries “Lucky Chances” and appeared in episodes of “Singer & Sons,” “Lifestories” and “Matlock.”

De Jesus' career received significant boost when she became the fourth and final actress to portray Santana Andrade on the popular NBC daytime series “Santa Barbara,” after Ava Lazar (1984), Margaret Michaels (1985) and Gina Gallego (1985-1987, 1989). She played the role from July 19, 1991 to May 28, 1992. During 1991/92, she also appeared in episodes of “Equal Justice” and “Civil Wars” and in the made for television movie “Fatal Friendship” (NBC), where she co-starred with Larry Carroll and Michael Paul Chan.      

De Jesus returned to feature films with roles on “The Glass Shield” (1994), a crime/drama film starring Ice Cube, Michael Boatman and Lori Petty, and directed by Charles Burnett, and “Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys” (1995),a  comedy/thriller film written and directed by Charles Gale and starring Joe Mantegna, Martin Sheen and Joanna Pacula, before assuming the regular role of Liz Vega in the short lived UPN series “Live Shot” (1995), which brought her a NCLR Bravo nomination in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She made guest appearances in a number of television throughout the remaining of the 1990s, including “”Babylon 5” (as Sarah), “SeaQuest 2032” (as Commander Pamela Lopez), “Touched by an Angel” (as Sue Cheney), “NYPD Blue” (as Det. Martina Escobar), “Diagnosis Murder” (as Detective Emma Lopez), “Profiler” (as Catherine Evers), “Brooklyn South” (as Detective Marina McConnell), “Nash Bridges” (as Agent Janet Reynolds), “Vengeance Unlimited” (1998, as  District Attorney Rosalie Hanson) and “Promised Land” (as Nina Charles). His voice could be heard as Dr. Silvia Lopez in the direct to video animated film “Spider-Man: Sins of the Fathers” (1996) and in the episode “Sins of the Fathers Chapter 12: The Spot” (1996) of the series “Spider-Man.”

Besides, De Jesus worked with Craig Sheffer, Andrea Roth and John Heard in the direct to video thriller movie “Executive Power” (1997), written and helmed by David L. Corley, co-starred in the television movie “Gold Coast” (1997), with David Caruso, Barry Primus and Marg Helgenberger, and portrayed Magdalena Scanlon in the direct to video “Time to Pay” (1999). She was featured as geologist/FBI woman in the Academy Award nominated drama “The Insider” (1999), which was directed by Michael Mann and scripted by Eric Roth, and played the role of Karen in “Flawless” (1999), a  crime comedy/drama film starring Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman and directed by Joel Schumacher, who also wrote the screenplay.  

In the new millennium, De Jesus appeared in “Once in the Life” (2000),  a crime/drama film written and directed by, and starring Laurence Fishburne, “Ghosts of Mars” (2001), a critically and commercially failed science fiction/horror movie directed and written by John Carpenter and starring Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Jason Statham, Pam Grier, Clea DuVall, and Joanna Cassidy, and “Blood Work” (2002), a mystery/suspense thriller film produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood. In 2001, she was cast in the starring role of Mami on the made for television film “Almost a Woman,” directed by Betty Kaplan and based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Puerto Rican writer Esmeralda Santiago. The role earned her a 2003 Imagen Foundation for Best Actress – Television.  

After a guest spot in “Pensacola: Wings of Gold” (2000, as Ali), De Jesus had a two episodic arc as Katrina Epstein in the short lived ABC series “Thieves” (2001) and appeared as lawyer in an episode of “First Monday” called “The Price of Liberty” (2002). She, however, did not receive another push on the small screen until she was cast as MDPD Detective Adell Sevilla, a Latina homicide detective who occasionally accompanies the CSIs, in the first season of the CBS crime series “CSI: Miami” (2002-2003).

Back to television after a few years hiatus, De Jesus had the supporting role of Sanchez on the television film adaptation of a novel by Arthur Hailey, “Detective” (2005), starring Tom Berenger, Annabeth Gish and Rick Gomez. Two years later, she starred as Millie De Leon on the John Singleton produced, Franc. Reyes directed film “Illegal Tender,” where she was nominated for an Imagen Award for Best Actress - Film for her performance. She then co-starred with John Leguizamo and Florencia Lozano on the film “The Ministers” (2009), also helmed by Franc. Reyes.

In 2010, De Jesus returned to soap opera with a recurring role as Iris Blanco, the mayor of Pine Valley, on ABC's “All My Children.” The same year, she appeared as Lieutenant Arleen Gonzalez in an episode of “Law & Order: LA” called “Hollywood.”


Imagen: Best Actress – Television, “Almost a Woman,” 2003 Show Less
WANDA DE JESUS - random HQ set
boones - 10/20/12
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