Lisa Vidal

Lisa Vidal (born June 13, 1965) is an American actress of Puerto Rican heritage. She starred in the Lifetime crime drama series The Division (2001–2004) and BET drama series Being Mary Jane (2013–2019). Vidal also starred in the short-lived series include High Incident (1996–97) and The Event (2010–11), and had major recurring roles on Third Watch (1999–2001), and ER (2001–04).

Lisa Vidal
Lisa Vidal.jpg
Vidal in 2012
Born (1965-06-13) June 13, 1965 (age 56)[1]
Years active1980–present
Jay Cohen
(m. 1990)
RelativesChristina Vidal (sister)
Tanya Vidal (sister)

Early lifeEdit

Vidal was born in Whitestone, Queens, the daughter of Josie, a secretary, and Manny Vidal, a tax consultant and businessman.[2] Her parents moved from Puerto Rico and settled in Manhattan, where Vidal and her two sisters Christina and Tanya were born. She also has a brother named Christian. After Vidal finished her elementary education, she auditioned and was accepted in the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. When she graduated, Vidal went to work with La Familia Theater Company, alongside Raul Julia and Julia Roberts. Vidal was 14 years old when she acted in the theatre series Oye Willie and later on made her feature debut with a small role in Delivery Boys. Soon, she was working in television with parts in shows such as The Cosby Show.[3][4][5]


In 1992, Vidal appeared in the crime drama film Night and the City alongside Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange, directed by Irwin Winkler.[3][4] She starred alongside Lauren Vélez and Rita Moreno in the 1994 comedy-drama film I Like It Like That. From 1994–1995, she appeared in New York Undercover in a recurring role as a reporter named Carmen. In the series she was sister to Det. Eddie Torres, played by Michael DeLorenzo. In 1995, she did some Off-Broadway and worked in The Commish. Vidal has also appeared in number of other films, such as Mighty Aphrodite (1995), The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998) and Chasing Papi (2003). She played a leading role in the 2007 psychological horror film Dark Mirror.[6]

Vidal was series regular in the ABC police drama High Incident (1995–1996), and on The Brian Benben Show in 1998, and later had major recurring roles on Third Watch from 1999–2001 as Dr. Sarah Morales, and ER from 2001–2004 as firefighter Sandy Lopez. From 2001 to 2004, Vidal starred opposite Bonnie Bedelia in the Lifetime drama series The Division, for which she received the 2002 nomination for the ALMA Award in the Best Actress Category. In 2006, she had a brief role in the short-lived action series Smith, as one of the federal agents looking for Ray Liotta's group of thieves. In 2010 she starred in NBC drama The Event playing the First Lady of the United States.[3][4] Vidal also starred in a number of made-for-television movies, including The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1998), Naughty or Nice (2004), and Odd Girl Out (2005).

In 2013, Vidal began starring opposite Gabrielle Union in the BET drama series Being Mary Jane, playing the role of Kara Lynch: the executive producer of Mary Jane show.[7][8] The series ended in 2017, and in 2019 BET released a two-hour film finale. From 2015 to 2017, she also had a recurring role in the Fox comedy-drama series Rosewood. Vidal also guest-starred on American Horror Story, Shameless and Chicago P.D. In 2020, Vidal was cast as Mari Garcia, the lead character’s mother, in ABC romantic comedy-drama series The Baker and the Beauty.[9][10]

Personal lifeEdit

Vidal has been married to real estate agent Jay Cohen since 1990 and had two sons, Scott (b. 1992-2021) and Max (b. 1998) and daughter Olivia-Taylor (b. 2003). The family lives in Los Angeles. She previously owned a children's clothing store called Oodles in Studio City, Los Angeles, California, but it has since been closed.[3] Vidal is a breast cancer survivor.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Delivery Boys Tina
1986 Christmas Eve Maria TV Movie
1988 Nightmare Beach Girl at Pool
1992 Night and the City (1992 film) Carmen
1994 I Like It Like That Magdalena Soto
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Chorus Voice
1997 Destination Unknown Marisol
Fall Sally
The Third Twin Lisa TV Movie
Nominated – ALMA Award
1998 The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit Ramona
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Babs Cardoza TV Movie
Nominated – ALMA Award
Naked City: Justice with a Bullet Lori Halloran TV Movie
Naked City: A Killer Christmas TV Movie
1999 Hit and Run Detective Rico TV Movie
Active Stealth Maria Direct-to-video
2001 The Blue Diner Elena
2003 Chasing Papi Carmen
2004 Naughty or Nice Diana Ramiro TV Movie
2005 Odd Girl Out Barbara Snyder TV Movie
Imagen Awards
2007 Dark Mirror Deborah Martin Nominated – Imagen Awards
2009 Signal Lost TV Newswoman
Star Trek Barracks Officer
2010 Baby Dominique Short film
2011 A Day Without Rain Ana Lanza Short film
2014 Victor Lila


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Oye Willie PBS series
1986 "Christmas Eve" Maria TV Movie starring Loretta Young
1987 The Cosby Show Mrs. Miron 1 episode
1987, 1991 ABC Afterschool Special Gloria Rodriguez 2 episodes
1988 Miami Vice Angel Montepina 1 episode
1992 Law & Order Lena Armendariz 1 episode
1994–95 New York Undercover Carmen Recurring role, 6 episodes
1995 The Commish Connie Muldoon 2 episodes
1996–97 High Incident Officer Jessica Helgado Series regular, 22 episodes
Nominated – ALMA Award (1996)
1998 The Brian Benben Show Julie Series regular, 8 episodes
1999 Wasteland Unknown Role 2 episodes
1999–2001 Third Watch Dr. Sara Morales Recurring role, 19 episodes
2001–04 The Division Inspector Magdalena "Magda" Ramirez Series regular, 88 episodes
Nominated – ALMA Award (2002)
Nominated – Imagen Awards (2004)
ER Sandy Lopez Recurring role, 12 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Irma Levine 2 episodes
Criminal Minds Gina Sanchez 1 episode
2006–07 Smith Valez Recurring role, 4 episodes
2007 Numb3rs Jessica Malloy 1 episode
2009 Without a Trace Detective Bianca Gonzalez 1 episode
CSI: Miami Patricia Busick 1 episode
2009–10 Southland Mia Sanchez 3 episodes
2010–11 The Event Christina Martinez Series regular, 14 episodes
Nominated – Imagen Awards (2011)
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Stacy Ramos Episode: "Afterbirth"
2012–13 Grimm Lauren Castro 2 episodes
2013–19 Being Mary Jane Kara Lynch Series regular, 51 episodes
Imagen Awards (2016)
Nominated — Imagen Awards (2017)
2014 Shameless Maria Vidal 2 episodes
2015–16 Rosewood Daisie Villa Recurring role, 11 episodes
2019 Chicago P.D. Alexa Rivera 1 episode
2020 The Baker and the Beauty Mari Garcia Series regular, 9 episodes
2020—present Grey's Anatomy Dr. Alma Ortiz Recurring role, 3 episodes


  1. ^ "Today in history". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Lisa Vidal Biography (1965-)". 1965-06-13. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lisa Vidal".
  4. ^ a b c "Lisa Vidal". BET. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Lisa Vidal". Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  6. ^ "Dark Mirror (2007) - Pablo Proenza | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via
  7. ^ Brian Lowry TV Columnist @blowryontv. "TV Review: BET's 'Being Mary Jane'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  8. ^ "'Being Mary Jane' Broadcast Premiere Tonight, 10:30PM ET/PT, On BET | Shadow and Act". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 28, 2019). "'The Baker And The Beauty': Carlos Gomez, Lisa Vidal & Dan Bucatinsky Cast In ABC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (May 11, 2019). "'The Baker And The Beauty' Gets ABC Series Order As Dean Georgaris Scores Double". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  11. ^ Moore, Camille (April 15, 2020). "10 Things You Didn't Know about Lisa Vidal". TVOvermind.

External linksEdit