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Jenny Gago

Jenny Gago is one of Hollywood's most versatile and respected Latina actresses. Her powerful portrayal of the matriarch Maria Sanchez in Gregory Nava's hit film, Mi Familia, was a critically acclaimed contribution to what she describes as an honorable and poignant script.

Gago has starred in many feature films, including Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson, My Gardener, Ties That Bind, Bound by Honor, Under Fire and Nurse Betty, with Renée Zellweger. She was honored with the Golden Eagle Award for her performance as Garduna in the film Old Gringo, in which she starred with Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda. Her television films include Grand Avenue, Nowhere to Hide, the Alien Nation series and Sweet Fifteen. Series regular roles include DEA, Dangerous Minds and Alien Nation. Gago was also a member of the esteemed cast of the recent Golden Globe-nominated series, American Family, on PBS. Some of her more recent guest starring roles include Crossing Jordan, 24, West Wing, The Agency, Alias, Jack & Bobby, Without a Trace and Lost.

Gago earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts from UCLA. She was then personally awarded a scholarship by Lee Strasberg to attend his Institute. Her care in selecting roles requires sacrifice and periodic gut checking: "My choices are guided by a desire to work through characters that will stand up and be accountable, she says. Hollywood is a powerful medium, and I am a huge advocate for us being responsible."

Honored by such prestigious organizations as the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the Imagen Awards, the National Council of La Raza, the TELACU Education Foundation, The Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, the BRAVO Awards and the Alma Awards, Gago has also received awards from the County of Los Angeles and El Centro. The U.S. House of Representatives recently acknowledged her for "her talents and portrayal of Latino characters in the film and television industry, as well as her dedication and drive to pursue nontraditional roles to pave the way for other Latinos."

Gago's passion is her 13-year-old son, Sean. She loves music and dancing (especially salsa), family, friends, great food and merlot. She also volunteers regularly in schools to support the importance of education.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Jenny Gago Facts

OccupationActress
BirthdaySeptember 11, 1953 (64)
SignVirgo
BirthplaceLima, Peru

Selected Filmography

11:00 A.M.
The Lonely Guy
On a Wing and a Prayer
Coach Carter
My Family, Mi Familia
Sweet 15
The Shooter
Shattered Spirits
The Princess and the Barrio Boy
An American Legend Two-Pack
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