With a career that spans from the glamour of modeling and films to the positive efforts of active charity work, Patricia Velasquez is far from just a pretty face. Embodying all that is beauty and strength of mind, Velasquez has a heart of gold, having never forgotten where she came from and always eager to spread messages of encouragement to young Latinas around the world.
Born in Venezuela, Velasquez climbed to the top of the fashion world becoming the first Latina supermodel, working on the runway for Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Carolina Herrera to name a few. Velasquez's exotic features have graced the covers of countless magazines such as Vogue, Bazaar and Marie Claire, and she has starred in several commercial campaigns including Allure, Pantene and New York & Co.
As an actor, Velasquez has worked in countless films and TV shows, including "Le Jaguar," "Zapata," "Mindhunters," "Fidel," "Committed," "CSI: Miami," "Arrested Development," "Rescue Me," "Ed," and "American Family," but she is most recognized for her role as Ank Su Namun in the films "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns." Velasquez recently executive produced and starred in "Cenizas Eternas." Her stage debut in "School of the Americas," produced by Philip Seymour Hoffman and written by Jose Rivera for the Public Theater in New York City, was critically acclaimed.
Velasquez is a UNESCO Artist for Peace and an active charity worker. She received the Women Together award at the UN in 2009, and in November 2010 was honored with the Solidarity Award. This last award is part of the Prix de Marie Claire de la Beauté annual awards in Spain. Her Wayuu Taya Foundation is dedicated to improving the living conditions of Latin American indigenous groups while respecting their culture.
In 2011, Velasquez launched her hair care collection at HSN, called Taya Beauty. The products are free of parabens, sulfates and animal products and have main ingredients that are organically grown through environmentally sustainable programs of the indigenous communities of South America.
Because of her talent, beauty and social conscience, Velasquez was a guest on "Oprah," a frequent judge at the Supermodel of the World contest sponsored by Ford Models, and has been featured countless times in the mainstream media as a Latina celebrity. Velasquez is currently working on her second film as executive producer and lead actor, "Liz in September," based on the famous play "Last Summer at Blue Fish Cove," and directed by Fina Torres.