Colombian-American actress Paula Garces was born in Medellin, Colombia on March 20, 1974. She moved to the U.S. when she was young and got stints in commercials, and later on created a career in kick-boxing and fitness training in New York City. She is married to Antonio Hernandez and they have daughter named Skye. Her husband owns a deli in New York City. The daughter of a fisherman and a dance teacher, she got into commercials through her talent agent, who was her father’s best friend.
One of Garces’ first films was a little-known feature appearing opposite James Van Der Beek in the independently produced drama Harvest in 1997. She has since appeared in a lot of notable films, including James Redford’s directorial debut Spin, Hangin’ with the Homeboys, Life with Mikey, and Dangerous Minds.
Paula Garces broke into the Hollywood scene after starring in the 2002 sci-fi adventure Clockstoppers opposite Jesse Bradford. Paramount loved her performance resulting in a quick follow-up in the form of Richard Benjamin’s hip-hop comedy Marci X, which she starred in alongside Lisa Kudrow and Damon Wayans.
Garces’ next project was opposite Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones in the feature Man of the House. Appearances on television series soon followed, with the hit show CBS’ CSI: Miami, HBO’s The Sopranos, Oz, and NBC’s Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit. While filming Law and Order: SVU, she was cast on the FX police drama The Shield. On the show, she played the part of Officer Tina Hanlon, who turned out to be a very popular character. In turn, her contract was extended to three more seasons.
Going back to movies, Garces then starred in the 2008 comedy Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Soon after she produced an animated film called Red Princess Blues Animated: The Book of Violence. In 2009, Garces was cast as pilot and on-board documentary producer Paula Morales on the ABC space-themed drama Defying Gravity.