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Leonor Varela

Leonor Varela

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 29, 1972 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Santiago, , CL Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A sultry, dark-haired beauty, Leonor Varela was a virtual unknown in the USA when she was tapped for the lead in the lavish ABC miniseries "Cleopatra" (1999). The Chilean-born actress had a peripatetic childhood; her parents fled the military regime in her native country when she was a baby and settled first in Costa Rica, before moving to Germany, the USA (Colorado) and France. Varela opted to remain in Paris to pursue an education when her parents returned to Santiago in the early 1990s. Her dentist recommended her to a French filmmaker, who was about to shoot a film in Chile. After meeting him, he specifically created a role for the stunningly attractive performer which in turn led to her casting in the Chilean TV series "Tic Tac", opposite Latin heartthrob Enrique Cintolesi. Varela then was tapped for a tiny role in the remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Continuing her quick ascent, she then landed the part of Cleopatra. While most critics found the production visually stunning, they were divided over Varela's contributions; some felt she was too limited an actress to pull off the role while others found her perfectly cast. The one constant was that all were...

A sultry, dark-haired beauty, Leonor Varela was a virtual unknown in the USA when she was tapped for the lead in the lavish ABC miniseries "Cleopatra" (1999). The Chilean-born actress had a peripatetic childhood; her parents fled the military regime in her native country when she was a baby and settled first in Costa Rica, before moving to Germany, the USA (Colorado) and France. Varela opted to remain in Paris to pursue an education when her parents returned to Santiago in the early 1990s. Her dentist recommended her to a French filmmaker, who was about to shoot a film in Chile. After meeting him, he specifically created a role for the stunningly attractive performer which in turn led to her casting in the Chilean TV series "Tic Tac", opposite Latin heartthrob Enrique Cintolesi. Varela then was tapped for a tiny role in the remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Continuing her quick ascent, she then landed the part of Cleopatra. While most critics found the production visually stunning, they were divided over Varela's contributions; some felt she was too limited an actress to pull off the role while others found her perfectly cast. The one constant was that all were impressed by her exotic looks and sexy screen presence. She returned to the big screen in her largest role to date in the revisionist Western "Texas Rangers" (2001). That film's release, however, was delayed nearly two years and in the interim, Varela graced the small screen as Judith in the biblical drama "Jeremiah" (PAX, 2000) and was seen on the big screen supporting Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush in "The Tailor of Panama" (2000).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Ride (2014)
2.
 Odd Thomas (2013)
3.
 Fuck my life (2011)
4.
 Monsterwolf (2010)
5.
 Hindsight (2009)
6.
 Todo Incluido (2009)
7.
 Hell Ride (2008)
8.
 Goal! 2 (2008)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1973:
Family fled Chile when Varela was two-months old when Agusto Pinochet came to power in a military coup
:
Lived in Costa Rica, Germany, Boulder, Colorado and Paris, France
:
Recommended by her dentist to a French filmmaker
:
Returned to Chile; starred in TV series "Tic Tac"
1998:
Feature debut, small role in "The Man in the Iron Mask"
1999:
Received glowing reviews for her portrayal of the titular Queen of the Nile in the lavish ABC miniseries "Cleopatra"
2000:
Was featured in the PAX-TV biblical drama "Jeremiah"
2000:
Co-starred in "The Tailor of Panama"
2001:
Cast in the revisionist Western "Texas Rangers" (filmed in 1999)
2002:
Cast oppposite Wesley Snipes in "Blade II"
2005:
Starred in Luis Mandoki's "Voces inocentes/Innocent Voices" set in El Salvador during the years of civil war in the '80s
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Paris Conservatoire: -

Notes

"I'm very comfortable with my sexuality. I use it in my acting. As long as people see me for my acting as well as my looks, it's fine." --Leonor Varela quoted in "New Jewel of the Nile" by Jefferson Graham (USA TODAY, May 21, 1999)

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Billy Zane. Actor. Met during filming of "Cleopatra" in 1998.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Francesco Varela. Scientist.
mother:
Leonor Varela. Massage therapist.

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