Biography

Colombian-born, Spanish Harlem-raised actress Paula Garcés graduated to film by virtue of her career as a soap star on Guiding Light (where she played Pilar Santos). She then immediately fell into a Tinseltown niche by specializing in big-screen portrayals of fiery, doe-eyed Latinas with heightened allure and exoticism -- qualities that lent themselves equally to drama and farce. Early projects included supporting roles in the Michael J. Fox comedy Life with Mikey (1993), the Michelle Pfeiffer-starring inspirational drama Dangerous Minds (1995), and the disastrous Lisa Kudrow-Damon Wayans hip-hop comedy Marci X (2003). Garcés received much higher billing as Maria, the elusive "dream girl" of Harold, in the stoner comedy Harold and Kumar go to White Castle (2004) and its sequel, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008). The actress' resumé also includes guest appearances on such TV series as Oz, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: SVU, and a recurring role as Officer Tina Hanlon on The Shield. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi