Talisa Soto
Background information
Birthname Miriam Talisa Soto
Born March 27, 1967 (1967-03-27) (age 54)
Birthplace Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
Alternate names
Occupation(s) Actress, model
Years active 1984–present
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Children 2

Talisa Soto (born March 27, 1967) is an American actress and former model.

Early life

Soto was born Miriam Talisa Soto in Brooklyn, New York,[1] the youngest of four children of parents who moved from Puerto Rico.[2] During her early childhood, her parents moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Soto and her siblings were raised and educated.



At age 15, Soto signed with Click Model Management and began modeling during summer vacations. Weeks after being signed, she traveled to Paris where she appeared in a layout for Vogue shot by Bruce Weber. She returned to Northampton after the summer to resume her schooling and would continue to model on occasion until she graduated from high school.[3] She later appeared on the covers of American and British Vogue, British Elle, Mademoiselle, Glamour and Self magazines.[4]

She also appeared in her first music video with former boyfriend Nick Kamen, Madonna's song "Each Time You Break My Heart", directed by Tony Viramontes.[3] Soto and Kamen were often used as models by Ray Petri: the late fashion stylist and creator of the 1980s London "Buffalo Boy" look.[5]


In 1988, when Soto returned to the United States, she auditioned and landed the role of "India" in her feature debut, Spike of Bensonhurst, a comedy which starred Sasha Mitchell and Ernest Borgnine. In 1989, she was cast as Lupe Lamora, in the James Bond film Licence to Kill starring Timothy Dalton and as Maria Rivera in The Mambo Kings.[6]

Soto has participated in more than twenty films, among which are: Mortal Kombat (1995) as Kitana; Island of the Dead as Melissa O'Keefe; Piñero (2001) as Sugar, starring Benjamin Bratt; and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) as Ryne alongside Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas. Soto also made two guest appearances on the television series C-16: FBI. In 1995, she played the role of Doña Julia, one of Johnny Depp's many love interests in the tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco, Depp playing the title role. She also made an appearance in Marc Anthony's music video for "I Need to Know". In 1996, Soto played the title role in the campy film Vampirella based on the comic book character.[6]

Magazine covers

In 1990, Soto was chosen by People as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.[7] In 1995, she was featured in the Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Issue".[4] She was ranked #58 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.[8]

Personal life

In 1997, Soto married actor Costas Mandylor and they were divorced in 2000.[6] She married actor Benjamin Bratt on April 13, 2002 in San Francisco. The couple have two children, a daughter Sophia Rosalinda and a son, Mateo Bravery.[9][10]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village Studio Dancer Uncredited
1988 The French as Seen By... French Girl Episode: "The Cowboy and the Frenchman"
1988 Spike of Bensonhurst India
1989 Licence to Kill Lupe Lamora
1990 Silhouette Marianna Herrera Television film
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Rosina Television film
1992 The Mambo Kings Maria Rivera
1992 Hostage Joanna
1993–1994 Harts of the West Cassie 15 episodes
1994 Don Juan DeMarco Doña Julia
1995 Mortal Kombat Princess Kitana
1996 Spy Hard Seductress in Hotel Room Credited as Desiree More
1996 Sunchaser Navajo Woman
1996 Vampirella Vampirella Direct-to-video
1997 Flypaper Amanda
1997 The Corporate Ladder Susan Taylor
1997 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Princess Kitana Alternative title: Mortal Kombat 2
1998 C-16: FBI Rosemary Vargas 2 episodes
2000 That Summer in L.A. Marisabel
2000 Flight of Fancy Mercedes Marquez Alternative titles: Facing Fear
2000 Island of the Dead Melissa O'Keefe Television film
2001 Piñero Sugar
2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Vinn/Rayne
2009 La Mission Ana Credited as Talisa Soto Bratt
2013 Elysium Tisha Uncredited

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film
1989 ShoWest Convention Won Female Star of Tomorrow
2002 ALMA Award Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Piñero

See also

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  1. Candelaria, Cordelia; Aldama, Arturo J.; García, Peter J. (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture. 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 778. ISBN 0-313-32215-5. 
  2. Miller, Samantha (2002-04-29). Benjamin's Surprise. 57. ISSN 0093-7673. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20136868,00.html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Talisa Soto: Catwalk Queen Strides To New Life". New Sunday Times: 2. 1989-07-23. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1295&dat=19890723&id=xdMPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=b5ADAAAAIBAJ&pg=5779,1805956. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Template:Fashionmodel
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  7. "50 Most Beautiful People". People: 57. 1990-05-09. ISSN 0093-7673. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20063281,00.html. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
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External links

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