Gina Rodriguez biography
Date of Birth: July 30, 1984
In 2014, Gina Rodriguez rose to fame with her breakout role in the groundbreaking dramedy series Jane the Virgin. Her work on the show earned her a Golden Globe, as well as a slew of opportunities in various big budget movies, including Deepwater Horizon (2016) and Annihilation (2016).
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Gina is the youngest of three daughters to Catholic Puerto Rican parents, Genaro and Magali Rodriguez. She was raised in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood in the Northwest side of Chicago, and began salsa dancing at age seven. Accepted into Columbia University's Theatrical Collaboration at just 16 years old, Gina then attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she spent four years training at the Atlantic Theater Company and Experimental Theatre Wing. She graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Following graduation, she dabbled in theater and television, and after a series of minor stints on various television shows, Gina was offered her first big role as Beverly on the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. During her time on the soap, she kept pursuing roles in other projects, including the independent dramas Filly Brown (2012) and California Winter (2012). She continued to work steadily into 2013, appearing in the psychological thriller Enter the Dangerous Mind and the dramedy Sleeping with the Fishes, a role for which she received a 2014 Imagine Award nomination. That same year, she was also named Rising Star of the Year at the Young Hollywood Awards.
Gina was then offered what everyone, including her family, thought was a dream opportunity: a role on Lifetime's Devious Maids, produced by Eva Longoria. Gina, however, turned it down. "I just knew that it wasn't my path, because it didn't feel right," the actress told The Washington Post in 2015. But when she came across the script for the lead role in The CW dramedy Jane the Virgin, she knew it was right. "I was five pages in" while reading the pilot script, she said, when she knew, "I have to be Jane."
It turned out to be the exact right choice for the rising actress. Her work as the precocious virgin Jane Villanueva skyrocketed her to international fame and earned her a 2015 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. This marked The CW's first-ever golden statuette, and a turning point in Gina's career. She continued to do excellent work into the show's second season and snagged another Golden Globe nomination, as well as a Critic's Choice Television Award and Satellite Award nomination the following year.
Although she has appeared in a number of short films and lesser-known independent features, Gina has only just begun breaking into mainstream Hollywood territory, most recently starring in the true story epic Deepwater Horizon (2016) alongside Mark Wahlberg and Kate Hudson, the dramedy Sticky Notes (2016) starring Ray Liotta, and the sci-fi thriller Annihilation (2018) opposite Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. She also lent her voice to the animated film, The Star (2017).
Gina has made it a habit of using her star power for many good causes, involving herself in various charitable organizations such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), PACER's (The Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) National Bullying Prevention Campaign, and Naja lingerie, a lingerie line founded to help women and the environment.
Gina dated Revenge actor Henri Esteve for just over a year before splitting with him in late 2015. She has since been linked to actor Ben Schwartz.