From 1984 to 1989, Saundra Santiago introduced the warmth because the lethal Detective Gina Calabrese on the long-lasting Eighties crime collection, Miami Vice. Within the a long time that adopted, the actor has stayed busy with stage roles and elements in a few of tv’s largest dramas. Learn on to seek out out the place Santiago has been within the a long time since her days with the Metro-Dade Police Division.
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Santiago has continued to behave within the a long time because the finish of Miami Vice, showing in quite a few TV films together with the 1996 sequel To Sir With Love II with Sidney Poitier, and making visitor appearances on collection together with Legislation & Order, True Detective, Cashmere Mafia, and Blue Bloods. She has appeared onstage each on and off-Broadway over the a long time. She was an everyday on the soaps Guiding Mild and One Life to Stay and has appeared on the dramas Gang Associated, Damages, and The Sopranos. Having acted in quite a few indie movies and performed the mom of Rosario Dawson’s character in Spike Lee’s The twenty fifth Hour, she’s going to return to movie in 2023 because the sister of Armand Assante’s character in Don Q.
From 2011 to 2013, she chronicled her life as a self-described “working actor” on HuffPost, describing the ups and downs of stage work, auditioning, filming, and—in a poignant 2012 entry—frustration with the restricted roles Hollywood has for Latinas.
“I simply want Hollywood would contemplate Latinas being solid in additional roles than simply maids and nannies,” she wrote. “Not that there’s something fallacious with enjoying a very good maid or nanny position…however we’re a lot extra diversified! Latinas are available in many shapes, colours, sizes and occupations.”
Through the casting for The Sopranos, Santiago was initially requested to learn for the position of Carmela, spouse of mob boss Tony Soprano, a job she stated on the Speaking Sopranos podcast she “instinctually knew” she wasn’t proper for. After Carmela (which went to Edie Falco), she learn and examined for the position of Tony’s psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, the half she stated she actually wished, sensing the present was going to be a success—solely to seek out out the position had been supplied to Lorraine Bracco.
In a while, she received a name that author and producer David Chase had created the position of the spouse of household doctor Dr. Bruce Cusamano (the late Robert LuPone), Jeannie Cusamano. Santiago performed Jeannie for 5 episodes, from 1999 to 2007, together with the character’s twin sister, lawyer Joan. (It wasn’t the actor’s first time enjoying two members of the identical household both; within the third season of Miami Vice, she performed each Gina Calabrese and her mom Elena Obergon within the episode “Heroes of the Revolution.”)
Santiago recalled her time on the present fondly, describing The Sopranos as “the perfect set she ever labored on” with “the perfect storytelling ever.”
In 1994, Santiago was solid as Angela Vicario within the Broadway manufacturing of Chronicle of a Demise Foretold and met skilled percussionist Roger Squitero, who was additionally performing within the manufacturing. The couple married in 1999 and now stay with their Havanese canine Lola, dividing time between New York Metropolis’s West Village and a home in upstate New York.
Regardless of the on-again, off-again romance and later friendship of their characters, the connection between Santiago and Miami Vice costar Don Johnson seems to have been chillier. When pressed by host and Sopranos star Steve Schirripa about her experiences working with Johnson throughout her look on the podcast Speaking Sopranos, Santiago admitted that whereas the actor may very well be “extraordinarily charming, particularly to those that may help him” he was “very troublesome.”
“To be trustworthy, I’ve tales, however they’re very non-public,” she stated. “At some point I’ll write slightly e-book, and I’ll speak about it.”
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Having performed Carmen Santos on Guiding Mild from 1999 to 2002, Santiago returned to soaps when she stepped in to take over the position of One Life to Stay‘s Carlotta Vega in 2009. In accordance with TV Information‘s Michael Logan as quoted in Cleaning soap Opera Community, the alternative happened after Patricia Mauceri, who had performed the position since 1995, “refused to carry out a narrative twist through which her character mistakenly thinks her son Cristian (David Fumero) is homosexual and reacts in a constructive and supportive method.”
Santiago recounted getting the request at 9 p.m to be on set at 6 a.m. the following day for the emergency recasting, however stayed mum on different particulars.
“I have been avoiding speaking about it as a result of I believed something I say will offend any individual,” she stated. “It is such a sensitive topic.”
Later, Mauceri claimed she didn’t object to a homosexual storyline however felt that the way in which her character dealt with it was at odds together with her deeply non secular characterization.
Though she displayed her vocal skills on Miami Vice, singing “Somebody to Watch Over Me” and “Stormy Climate” as Gina’s nightclub singer mom, Santiago did not instantly observe costars Philip Michael Thomas and Johnson in capitalizing on the present’s recognition to launch an album of her personal. She has continued to sing all through her profession, nevertheless, showing on Broadway within the aforementioned Chronicle of a Demise Foretold and as Stephanie Necrophorus within the 2003 manufacturing of the musical 9, reverse Antonio Banderas (who was then married to Don Johnson’s ex-wife, Melanie Griffith). And he or she lastly launched that post-Miami Vice album: 2004’s Stay.