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Following her studies at the prestigious theater schools Neighborhood Playhouse and HB Studio, where she studied with legendary instructors Sanford Meisner and Uta Hagen, respectively, Julie Carmen found work, like many burgeoning New York-based actors, on a soap opera: she played the character of Carmen Monvales on "Guiding Light" in 1978. Although a minor role, it paved the way to several other parts and, by 1980, with her acting talents clearly apparent, Carmen was already getting top billing. That year she played the part of Jeri Dawn, wife of Jack Dawn, an accountant whose family is killed by the mob for keeping a personal copy of their books, in the critically acclaimed John Cassavetes film "Gloria." Her performance in that role won her the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival and quickly bolstered her reputation. Following that success, she landed countless roles, often exploiting her roots by playing Hispanic characters, such as in an episode of William Shatner's cop show, "T.J. Hooker," in 1984; in three episodes of the comedy "Dream On" in 1990; and in the TV crime movie "Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel" in 1992. Along with her successful acting career, Carmen is also a dancer and choreographer, a licensed therapist, and the private yoga instructor of actress Suzanne Somers.
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