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Patricia Carola Velásquez Semprún (born January 31, 1971) is a Venezuelan actress and model.

Patricia Velásquez
South by Southwest 2019 9 (47391801921) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Patricia Velásquez at South by Southwest 2019
Patricia Carola Velásquez Semprún

(1971-01-31) January 31, 1971 (age 48)
OccupationActress, Fashion Model
Years active1996–present

Early lifeEdit

Velásquez was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, the fifth of six children. Her father is mestizo and her mother a member of the indigenous Wayuu people.[1][2] Her parents were both teachers; her father also worked for UNESCO and was assigned to other countries. Velásquez grew up with her family in France and Mexico. She attended San Vicente de Paul High School, graduating in 1987.

In 1989, she participated in the Miss Venezuela 1989 contest. She represented Peninsula de la Goajira, a center of the Wayuu people, and placed as 2nd runner-up. After three years of engineering studies at college, Velásquez left for Milan, Italy, in pursuit of a modelling career. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.[3]


From 1995 to 2000, Velásquez studied acting in Los Angeles and New York.[3] She paced down runways in ready-to-wear fashion shows for designers such as Chanel, Chloe, John Galliano, Antonio Berardi, Bella Freud, Corinne Cobson, Claude Montana, Dolce & Gabbana and many others. Velásquez appeared in print ads for Chanel's Allure, Cover Girl, Monsoon, Roberto Verino's Verino fragrance, as well as Victoria's Secret.

During her modeling career, she appeared on the covers of Vogue, Bazaar, and Marie Claire among others and several issues of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This led to a large number of further modeling engagements. She was ranked as No. 45 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001[4] and No. 16 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" poll in 2002.

Velásquez played Anck-Su-Namun in the 1999 film The Mummy and its 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns.

She had a special appearance on "Breaking the Girl" video of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. She also appeared on the Rod Stewart video "Leave Virginia Alone" and others, such as Ricardo Montaner "Para Llorar" and George Michael "Spinning the Wheel."

Velásquez was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace (Goodwill Ambassador) in June 2003, in the context of the International Decade for the World’s Indigenous People. She was honored in recognition of her actions for protection of the Wayúu indigenous people in Latin America and for safeguarding their cultural heritage.[5]

Velásquez played the character of Begoña on several episodes of The L Word during its 5th season (2008). She had a recurring role on the television series Arrested Development playing Marta Estrella. On CSI: Miami, in the episode "From the Grave", she appeared as a guest star, playing Celia Gonzalez. She had a recurring role in the first season of Rescue Me playing Nez, the ex-girlfriend and mother of Franco's daughter, Keela. She also guest starred on Ugly Betty and Hawaii Five-0 (2010 TV series, season 9)

She received the “Women Together” award at the United Nations on 2009. The Awards Ceremony recognizes the valuable contribution of men, women, and institutions dedicated to the creation of a more equal society[6][7]

Velásquez competed on behalf of the charity Wayúu Tayá Foundation on the twelfth season of The Apprentice. She was fired in week 6, on 25 March 2012.

On 2015, LA Femme Film Festival gave Velásquez their Humanitarian Award.[8]

On August 30, 2018 the Organization of American States (OAS) appointed Velásquez as Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas during a ceremony at its headquarters in Washington, DC.[9]

Velasquez was honored by The Human Rights Campaign with the 2018 Visibility Award in New England.[10]

In 2019, she played Patricia Alvarez in the horror film The Curse of La Llorona.

Personal lifeEdit

In 2002, Velásquez founded The Wayuu Taya Foundation,[11] a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the Wayuu, an indigenous people located in northwestern Venezuelan and northern Colombia.[12] In 2010, after the devastating Haiti earthquake, she had the Wayuú Tayá Foundation commission a special symbol of hope to raise money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. It was sold with the slogan: Keep the "H" Close to Your Heart—Help Haiti Hope.[13]

In February 2015, Velásquez released her memoir Straight Walk, recalling her journey from poverty to international acclaim.

Velásquez has a daughter with her former girlfriend Lauren. They separated after eight years together.[14]



  1. ^ Featspress (April 2001). "Mummy Returns, The: Interview with Patricia Velasquez".
  2. ^ "Iman and Petra support a model cause in New York". Hello!. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Patricia Velasquez - Details". Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  4. ^ "Maxim Hot 100 [Women of] 2001". Maxim. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Patricia Velásquez | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Women Together Awards". Women Together. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  7. ^ "UN Webcast Archives". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  8. ^ "LA Femme 2015 Humanitarian Award- Patricia Velasquez". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  9. ^ OAS (1 August 2009). "OAS - Organization of American States: Democracy for peace, security, and development". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  10. ^ Human Rights Campaign (26 November 2018), Patricia Velásquez Honored with HRC Visibility Award in New England, retrieved 15 March 2019
  11. ^ "Home Page". Wayuu Taya Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  12. ^ "About the Wayúu Tayá Foundation". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Help Haiti Hope". Keep the "H" Close to Your Heart – Help Haiti Hope. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ Greenfield, Beth (5 February 2015). "Despite Success as a Supermodel, This Mom Struggled With One 'Torturous' Secret". Yahoo Parenting. Yahoo!. Retrieved 16 August 2018.

External linksEdit