Born and raised in Manhattan, Ortiz discovered her passion for the performing arts at a young age. "I started ballet lessons when I was five years old and spent my childhood dreaming about becoming a ballerina... When I was in junior high school I began singing and soon realized that it was a lot less painful than being on pointes." Ortiz was accepted into the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts as a voice major.
After graduating from high school she moved to Philadelphia, where she studied theater at the University of the Arts. In addition to earning her bachelor's degree, she also began accumulating stage credits. She made her professional stage debut as Cecile in Les Liaisons Dangereuses as the Philadelphia Repertory Theater before conquering major roles in regional theater productions of Hamlet, House of Bernarde Albe, Tartuffe, The Effects of Gamma Rays, The Dog Lady & The Cuban Swimmer and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. Additional regional theater work includes Wrong Turn at Lungfish, directed by Garry Marshall. A highlight in Ortiz' early career was portraying Chrissy in a European tour of the hit musical Hair.
Upon graduation from university, Ortiz returned to New York and joined the Labyrinth Theater, where she delivered bravura performances in the critically acclaimed In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, directed by Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, and in which her portrayal of a hardened teenage mother garnered her rave reviews. She also appeared in the Labyrinth Theater production of A Winter Party, directed by John Patrick Shanley. Additional New York theater credits include Game of Patience, The Photographer, Matta of Time, Faust Invitro and Mister.
Her outstanding theater performances subsequently landed her a guest-starring role in ABC's NYPD Blue. Other television credits include guest-starring roles on The New Adventures of Old Christine, Commander In Chief, Freddie, North Shore, Greetings from Tucson, Everybody Loves Raymond and ER, as well as a starring role in the television film Mr. St. Nick, opposite Kelsey Grammer. Her feature film credits include a starring role in the independent features Tortilla Heaven and supporting role in Miramax's Carolina.
In her free time, Ortiz enjoys hiking, kickboxing and going to New York to visit her family. She also loves singing back-up in her friends' bands and seeing as much theater as possible.
Ana Ortiz Facts