Jackie Cruz

Jackie Cruz (born August 8, 1986)[1][2][3] is a Dominican–American[5] actress, singer and former model. She is known for her role as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, and currently stars in a recurring role on NBC's Good Girls.

Jackie Cruz
Jackie Cruz 2019 by Glenn Francis.jpg
Cruz in 2019
Jacqueline Chavez

(1986-08-08) August 8, 1986 (age 34)[1][2][3]
EducationAlexander Hamilton High School
  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[4]
Fernando Garcia
(m. 2020)
Musical career

Early lifeEdit

Born Jacqueline Chavez[6][7] in Queens, New York on August 8, 1986, Cruz grew up between Los Angeles, California, and Santiago, Dominican Republic.[8][9] She was raised by a single mother,[10] and she speaks fluent English and Spanish.[11][9] Cruz was inspired to become an entertainer at the age of seven after watching Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard.[8][9] She attended Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, where she was a member of the school's music academy.[8]

At age 16, Cruz moved out of her mother's apartment and became homeless.[9] When she was 17, she was the victim of a car accident where she suffered a collapsed lung, fell into a coma and required brain surgery.[10][12][8][9] Her song "Sweet Sixteen" is based on the incident.[9]

Music careerEdit

When Cruz was in high school, she worked with will.i.am's producers[who?] in a girl group called Krush Velvet, although the group never signed to a record label.[9] Her debut extended play, Hollywood Gypsy, was released independently in 2010.[13]

Cruz is a part of a band called "The Family Portrait".[14]

Acting careerEdit

In 2009, Cruz began making appearances on the E! television series Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. She and Kourtney Kardashian became friends after meeting in an art class, which led to further appearances on the series.[12][15] In one episode, Cruz and Kardashian were filmed kissing, an incident that Kardashian later stated she was "so embarrassed" by.[15] Although Cruz initially stated that she and Kardashian remained friends following the incident,[12] Kardashian later stated that she "can never talk to [Cruz] again".[15]

Cruz cites Rita Moreno as an acting influence.[9]

Orange Is the New BlackEdit

Cruz was working as a model[4] and a waitress at New York City restaurant Lavo before she was cast as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.[1] Originally a recurring character for the first three seasons, it was announced in April 2015 that she would be promoted to series regular for the fourth season.[16][17]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2016, Cruz told AfterEllen: "I like the person whether it's a woman—we don't like to be labeled. I'm in a relationship with a man right now, but I've liked women in the past. So I guess we don't want to be labeled. We don't really talk about it, but the actions speak louder than words, am I right? So you're seeing it. You're living it."[18][19]

In August 2020, Cruz married artist Fernando Garcia.[20]


  • Hollywood Gypsy (2010)


Year Title Album
2018 Don't Waste My Time (Ft. Feefa) TBA
2019 Melly 16 TBA
2019 La Hora Loca TBA



Year Title Role Notes
2016 13 Steps Izar
2020 A Nice Girl Like You Nessa Jennings
2020 Tremors: Shrieker Island Freddie
TBA Faraway Eyes Susan Post-production
TBA Lansky Dafne Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Shield Graciela Episode: "The New Guy"
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Mendez's Girlfriend Episode: "Down Rio Way"
2009–2010 Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami Herself 2 episodes
2013–2019 Orange Is the New Black Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales
  • Recurring role (2013–2015)
  • Series regular (2016–2019)[16][17]
2014 Unforgettable Maria Torres Episode: "True Identity"
2016 Blue Bloods Rosa Alvarez Episode "Blast from the Past"
2020 Good Girls Rhea Recurring role (season 3)[21]


  1. ^ a b c Coughlan, Maggie (June 27, 2014). "Before OITNB actress was fired from Lavo | Page Six". New York Post. News Corp. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Cruz, Jackie (August 8, 2014). "Ms. Jackie Cruz on Twitter: "Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time." Jean Paul Richter #itsmybirthday #babycruz". Twitter. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Cruz, Jackie (August 8, 2014). "Ms. Jackie Cruz on Twitter: Loving my birthday with my soul sisters @jsancheeezy #birthdaygirl". Twitter. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Jackie Cruz, model, , Modelmayhem.com". Model Mayhem. Internet Brands. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "'Orange Is the New Black's' Latinas – The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. November 22, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Transcript Of "Latina To Latina" Episode One With Jackie Cruz by Jenny Hollander, Apr 10 2018. Quote: "...my legal name is Jacqueline Chavez. I go by Jackie Cruz. I've changed my name 10 times throughout my career to fit in. Cruz stuck. It's a part of... deep in the family. But Chavez I never really liked."
  7. ^ interview with 'Orange Is The New Black' Stars Diane Guerrero And Jackie Cruz AccessOnline.com (Published to YouTube on Aug 5, 2019). Quote: "A lot of people don't know my real last name is Chavez."
  8. ^ a b c d Valdez, Maria G. (October 24, 2013). "Latinos In The US: Jackie Cruz, 'Orange Is The New Black' Star, On Her Background, Work In NYC And Being Latina". Latin Times. Newsweek Media Group. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Erazo, Vanessa (June 24, 2014). "Jackie Cruz of 'Orange is the New Black' on Songwriting and Surviving a Crash | Film | Remezcla". Remezcla. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Jackie Cruz American Singer and Songwriter Bio". JackieCruz.com. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Roterman, Natalie (June 18, 2015). "'OITNB' Actress Jackie Cruz Opens Up About Diversity, Dating in Hollywood And Her Character 'Flaca' [PHOTOS]". Latin Times. IBT Media. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Angelique (June 17, 2011). "Hollywood Gypsy: Jackie Cruz | Bitchin' Kitchen". bitchinlifestyle.tv. Scripps Networks Interactive. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "iTunes – Music – Hollywood Gypsy EP by Jackie Cruz". iTunes. Apple Inc. June 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "BYT Interviews: Jackie Cruz - Brightest Young Things". January 19, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Webber, Stephanie (June 17, 2014). "Kourtney Kardashian Once Kissed Orange Is the New Black's Jackie Cruz – Us Weekly". Us Weekly. Wenner Media. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Jackie Cruz's 'Flaca' gets more 'Orange' screen time | New York Post". New York Post. News Corp. April 24, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (April 24, 2015). "Jackie Cruz Upped To Regular as Flaca On Orange Is the New Black". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "Jackie Cruz on bisexuality on "Orange is the New Black" and her friendship with Ruby Rose - AfterEllen". January 27, 2016.
  19. ^ "These 9 Rad Queer Women of Color Prove Representation Matters". July 21, 2016.
  20. ^ "'Orange Is the New Black' Star Jackie Cruz Marries Fernando Garcia". Entertainment Tonight. August 30, 2020.
  21. ^ "'Good Girls': Jackie Cruz To Recur On Season 3 Of NBC Series". Deadline Hollywood. September 17, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.

External linksEdit