Dania Ramirez was born on November 8, 1979 in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. At a young age, she already had an affinity for performing, reenacting Spanish soap operas in front of her family. By the age of 15, she was already in New York City, working in a convenience store where she was eventually discovered by a modeling scout, who promptly cast her in a television commercial. Upon deciding to pursue acting professionally under the guidance of Flo Greeberg at the Actor’s Workshop in New York City, she finally moved to Los Angeles.
Ramirez made her acting debut in 1997, when she was cast as an extra in the HBO film Subway Stories. She subsequently met film director Spike Lee, who later proceeded to include her in the cast of the independent LGBT film She Hate Me, which was released in 2004. In 2003, she played the role of Caridad, a Potential Slayer, in the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also appeared in the films Little Black Boot, Cross Bronx, The Ecology of Love and Fat Albert.
In 2006, Ramirez became familiar with audiences when she starred in X-Men: The Last Stand. Viewers might remember her as Callisto, the leader of the Omegas, a group of outcast mutants. She also appeared in five episodes of The Sopranos, starting with the sixth season’s finale where she played the role of Blanca Selgado, the new love interest of Anthony Soprano (Robert Iler).
In 2007, Ramirez was cast in the NBC television series Heroes. She played the role of Maya Herrera, a character originally introduced in a graphic novel inspired by the series. She can generate a deadly disease when subjected to stress, and along with her twin brother Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz), they are on the run for murder. The following year, Ramirez landed roles in films like Ball Don’t Lie and The Fifth Commandment. She was also cast as Sadie in Quarantine and in the movie Brooklyn to Manhattan. In 2013, she became part of ABC's Devious Maids.
Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic
Ramirez has appeared in music videos such as Jay-Z's "Streets is Watching" and LL Cool J's "Hush."
Devious Maids (2013)
Entourage (2010, as Alex)
Brooklyn to Manhattan (2010, as Jessica)
Solving Charlie (2009, as Veronica King)
Quarantine (2008, as Sadie)
The Fifth Commandment (2008, as "Angel")
Brooklyn to Manhattan (2008, as "Jessica")
Ball Don't Lie (2007, as "Carmen")
Heroes (2007, as Maya Herrera)
Illegal Tender (2007, as "Ana")
The Sopranos (2006-2007), as "Blanca Selgado")
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006, as "Callisto")
Romy & Michele: In The Beginning (TV) (2005, as "Elena")
Cross Bronx (2004, as "Maya")
Fat Albert (2004, as "Lauri")
She Hate Me (2004, as "Alex Guerrero")
The Ecology of Love (2004, as "Alila")
25th Hour (2002, as "Daphne")
Streets is Watching (1998, as "Jay-Z's Girl")
Subway Stories (1997, uncredited)
(On her family situation)
-I'm the middle. There are all girls in my family. I was like the boy, with sports.
-I wasn't really aware of a lot of superhero stuff when I was growing up. When I was growing up I was running around; I was a little tomboy. So I was just running around trying to be an athlete and trying to reenact things from TV, but I wasn't really into reading comic books or anything like that.
-Kristen Bell, I want to just take her home and put her in my house and just keep her there. She's amazing.