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Diane Guerrero

Diane GuerreroDiane Guerrero, born on July 21st, 1986 in New Jersey is an American actress. She is well known for her roles as Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and Lina on Jane the Virgin.

Among her other roles was a recurring role on Are We There Yet? She grew up in Boston and remained there after the rest of her family was deported back to Colombia when she was only 14 years old. She is now an advocate for immigration reform.

Guerrero was born in New Jersey to Colombian parents but was raised in Boston, Massachusetts when her parents moved there. She was the only member of her immediate family with United States citizenship due to the fact of being born in the country, so she remained in the U.S. when her parents and older brother were deported back to Colombia when she was 14.

Her parents had pursued legal citizenship status, but had been fraudulently represented. Guerrero's niece, who also grew up without a strong family support system, later served time in jail.

Guerrero was raised in the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston after being taken in by other Colombian families. She has had an interest in acting since a young age and took advantage of free opportunities in the neighborhood or at school.

Then she attended Boston Arts Academy, a performing arts high school, where she was in the music department. Among her high school activities was singing with a jazz group, even though she anticipated pursuing political science and communications in college.

Diane GuerreroIn 2010, she appeared in the Faces music video that was shot in Norwood, Massachusetts for Louie Bello. Her first job after college was in a law office, but at age 24, she decided to pursue a career in acting.

So in 2011, she moved to New York City and studied acting at the Susan Batson Studios where she met her manager Josh Taylor.

She auditioned for a role in Devious Maids, but was cast in Orange is the New Black, where she plays a Bronx-bred character that is more than likely of Puerto Rican heritage.

In season 2, she was part of the cast that earned recognition for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The cast earned recognition for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series again at the 2nd Screen Actors Guild Awards.

In 2014, she appeared in Emoticon ;), a comedy about a May-December romance in which her character's father is involved with a doctoral candidate.

Her performance in this film as Amanda Nevins, an adopted teenage child, elicited positive criticism such as the description of a "well-drawn smaller moment" that was "beautifully rendered" according to Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter and a performance that "commanded sympathy" according to Inkoo Kang of the Los Angeles Times.

Diane GuerreroOne of her upcoming roles is as an 1800's Cuban confederate spy, loosely based on the life of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, for Peter and John. She was cast in The CW's series Jane the Virgin in a recurring role.

In February 2015, Guerrero was cast as the female lead in CBS' television pilot for Super Clyde, but the show was not picked up when CBS announced its fall schedule in May.

Guerrero has upcoming film roles in Happy Yummy Chicken, Beyond Control and The Godmother.

In 2016, Guerrero released In the Country We Love: My Family Divided - a memoir about her parents being detained and deported when she was fourteen. The book's written with Michelle Burford and published by Henry Holt and Company.

The drama based on her memoir was picked up by CBS, to be developed into a drama executive produced by Jennie Snyder Urman, Ben Silverman, and Paul Sciarrotta, with Snyder attached as the showrunner.

Guerrero was initially set to play the lead. In 2017, CBS decided to pass on the project, but was picked up by Fox, but as of January 2018, no pilot for the series has been ordered.

In July of 2018, Guerrero joined the cast of the upcoming DC Universe series Doom Patrol as Crazy Jane. The series is set to debut in 2019.

Diane GuerreroSince April 2018, Guerrero has hosted the Hello Sunshine podcast How It Is.

She volunteers with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit group that advances immigrants' rights. Diane is an American citizen, born in New Jersey. When her parents and older brother were deported when she was 14, she described it:

"I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn't there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over."

She has said that her dream role is "anything where I would play a science-fiction or mythical character. I'm dying to play a part that has to do with fantasy".

"I feel like you can't really be truthful as an artist and empathize with the human experience, unless you know your truth and you're not living a lie. So I'm learning through it, and it's making me a better person, and it's making me a better artist, I think."

"When I was young I had dreams, but always told myself, 'Nah, that would never happen.' For a poor Latina, acting wasn't a reality."

Diane Guerrero"When my parents were deported I broke down. I hid under the bed because I was afraid that somebody was going to come for me.

I didn't know who that someone was but I was just so scared. Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own."

Her first book In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country.

There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have children that are legal citizens, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven't been told.

Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author's and on a system that fails them again and again.

Guerrero's life experience compels her to advocate for immigration reform and is an influence that she draws upon in her acting.

Diane GuerreroBoston: Mayor Marty Walsh proclaimed that Tuesday, November 29th 2016 would be Diane Guerrero Day in honor of the Orange Is the New Black actress, who plays the sassy Maritza Ramos on the Netflix show.

Guerrero, a Boston native who in 2015 was selected by President Obama to be a Presidential Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization, was to be honored for her advocacy for immigration reform.

She received a special tribute from Walsh on that evening at the We Are Boston Gala, a multicultural celebration — complete with food, music, and dance — put on by the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

The annual event, which draws hundreds of guests, was hosted this year by Maria Stephanos of WCVB-TV (Channel 5).

Along with honoring Guerrero, Walsh presented leadership awards to Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank, and John B. Cruz III, president and CEO of Cruz Companies.

They are in good company as past recipients of the We Are Boston Leadership Award include Senator Edward Kennedy, David Ortiz, Yo-Yo Ma, chef Ming Tsai, and author Junot Diaz.

Diane GuerreroDiane Guerrero has now learned to embrace her worth. The American actress of Colombian parents took many years to embrace her Colombian heritage and share the story of her parents’ deportation in her first memoir, In the Country We Love, but once she got started, she was unstoppable.

She adapted the book for a younger audience to help kids in immigrant families in My Family Divided, and she teamed up with Reese Witherspoon to host How It Is, a podcast that invites women to tell their stories in their own words.

Topics have included combating sexism in Silicon Valley, dealing with PTSD, and empowering female farmers, with guests like Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pao, and Lena Waithe.

"I used to go to auditions all the time and people were like - "Can you try it with an accent now?" I would because that's the way I thought things were and I had to accept that.

But by doing all of these shows - working on the shows like Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin, and Superior Donuts, I know how hard I work and I will not accept that anymore."

"I'll say, 'I'm sorry, I don't think this character would have an accent so I'm not gonna have one. Why don't you ask me to do a British accent?" They feel like an audience can't handle looking at me, a brown woman, with no accent and being from America."

Diane Guerrero"I was bullied as a kid for not being 'Latina enough,' with Dominican and Puerto Rican girls making fun of me for being Colombian. My perception of myself has definitely changed since then. I feel like I am enough in every aspect of my life."

"Believe me, there are days I'm not always feeling this confident. There are some days that I have to remind myself, and I have to give myself affirmations, and I have to go to yoga or do something nice for myself. - I get nervous about putting myself out there, but I want to encourage others to use their voices too."

Diane Guerrero volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, as well as with Mi Familia Vota - an organization that promotes civic involvement. She has been named an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House. She currently lives in New York City.

www.inthecountrywelove.com

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Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Detour Angela Short Film
2011 Ashley/Amber Ashley Short film
2011 Festival Ivan Model 2
2012 Open Vacancy Tatiana
2012 Saved by the Pole Princess Short film
2014 Emoticon ;) Amanda Nevins
2014 My Man Is a Loser Malea
2015 Beyond Control Tasha
2015 Love Comes Later Short film
2015 Peter and John Lucia
2016 Happy Yummy Chicken Cheryl Davis
TBD Beyond Control Tasha In post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Body of Proof Sara Gonzales Episode: "Buried Secrets"
2012 Are We There Yet? Stacey 1 episode
2013–2017 Orange Is the New Black Maritza Ramos Recurring role (Seasons 1–5): 53 episodes
2013 Blue Bloods Carmen Episode: "This Way Out"
2013 Person of Interest Ashley Episode: "Liberty"
2014 Taxi Brooklyn Carmen Lopez Episode: "1.2"
2014–present Jane the Virgin Lina Santillan Recurring role
2015 Super Clyde Maddy Unsold pilot
2017–2018 Superior Donuts Sofia Main role; season 2
2018 Elena of Avalor Vestia (voice) 3 episodes
2019 Doom Patrol Crazy Jane Series regular


Diane Guerrero speaks out about family's deportation

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