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Jackie Cruz (born August 8, 1986)[1][2][3] is a Dominican–American[9] 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.

Jackie Cruz
Born (1986-08-08) August 8, 1986 (age 31)[1][2][3]
Queens, New York City, United States[4][5][6]
Education Hamilton Music Academy[7][4]
  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Notable work Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales on Orange Is the New Black
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[8]
Weight 120 lb (54 kg)[8]
Musical career
Genres Pop
Associated acts


Early lifeEdit

Cruz was born in Queens, New York, and grew up between Los Angeles and in Santiago, Dominican Republic.[4][7] She was raised by a single mother,[5] and she speaks fluent English and Spanish.[10][7] Cruz was inspired to become an entertainer at the age of seven after watching Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard.[4][7]

At age 16, Cruz moved out of her mother's apartment and became homeless.[7] 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.[5][11][4][7] Her song "Sweet Sixteen" is based on the incident.[7]

Music careerEdit

When Cruz was in high school, she worked with's producers[who?] in a girl group called Krush Velvet, although the group never got signed to a record label.[7] Her debut extended play, Hollywood Gypsy, was released independently in 2010.[12] A

On 7/17/17 Cruz released a music video with Mona Haydar entitled "Dog". Amongst other vocals, Cruz joins Haydar in the chorus chanting "He's a dog." The content of the song is an attempt to raise awareness and comment on patriarchy and violence against women.

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.[11][13][14] In one episode, Cruz and Kardashian were filmed kissing, an incident that Kardashian later stated she was "so embarrassed" by.[14] Although Cruz initially stated that she and Kardashian remained friends following the incident,[11] Kardashian later stated that she "can never talk to [Cruz] again".[14][13]

Cruz cites Rita Moreno as an acting influence.[7]

Orange Is the New BlackEdit

Cruz was working as a model[8] as well as 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; and she briefly continued both previous jobs while filming the series, whose hours led to her being "kind of fired" from Lavo.[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.[6][15]

Personal lifeEdit

In January 2016, Cruz told "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."[16][17]


  • Hollywood Gypsy (2010)



Year Title Role Episode
2007 The Shield Graciela "The New Guy"
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Mendez's Girlfriend "Down Rio Way"
2009–2010 Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami Self 2 episodes
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales
  • Recurring role (2013–2015)
  • Series regular (2016–)[6][15]


  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 c d e 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 [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]". Latin Times. IBT Media. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Jackie Cruz American Singer and Songwriter Bio". Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Jackie Cruz’s ‘Flaca’ gets more ‘Orange’ screen time | New York Post". New York Post. News Corp. April 24, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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. 
  8. ^ a b c "Jackie Cruz, model, ,". Model Mayhem. Internet Brands. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ "'Orange Is the New Black's' Latinas – The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. November 22, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ a b c Angelique (June 17, 2011). "Hollywood Gypsy: Jackie Cruz | Bitchin' Kitchen". Scripps Networks Interactive. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ "iTunes – Music – Hollywood Gypsy EP by Jackie Cruz". iTunes. Apple Inc. June 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Kourtney Kardashian once made out with Orange Is The New Black star Jackie Cruz | Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "Jackie Cruz on bisexuality on "Orange is the New Black" and her friendship with Ruby Rose - AfterEllen". January 27, 2016. 
  17. ^ "These 9 Rad Queer Women of Color Prove Representation Matters". July 21, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Jackie Cruz – IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 

External linksEdit