Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$3 Million
Nov 2, 1964 (59 years old)
5 ft 4 in (1.64 m)
United States of America
💰 Compare Lauren Vélez's Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What is Lauren Vélez's Net Worth?

Lauren Vélez is an American actress who has a net worth of $3 million. Her portrayal of Detective Nina Moreno in "New York Undercover" showcased her ability to bring depth and realism to her characters. However, she is perhaps best known for her role as the determined and moral Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta in Showtime's hit series "Dexter," a role that she played for seven seasons. Her performance in "Dexter" was lauded for its complexity and strength. In addition to her TV roles, Vélez has also appeared in several films, like "I Like It Like That" and "City Hall."

Early Life

Lauren Vélez was born on November 2, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents had moved to Brooklyn from Puerto Rico. Her father worked as a New York City police officer and eventually bought a house in Far Rockaway, Queens. Vélez grew up with her identical twin sister, Lorraine, as well as her five other sisters and one brother. The twins were very interested in music and theatre while growing up and often improvised plays for the family. She attended Beach Channel High School, where she participated in nearly all the high school drama productions. After graduating in 1982, she received a scholarship to attend the Alvin Ailey Dance School. She also studied acting at The Acting Studio- New York, as did her twin sister.


Vélez landed her first performing job in the national touring company of the musical "Dreamgirls." She toured with the production from 1983 to 1984 and then again from 1985 to 1987. Originally, she played the role of a Stepp Sister and was a member of the ensemble cast before later being cast as Michelle Morris. She was also an understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" from 1988 to 1989. Additionally, she performed Off-Broadway in productions like "Much Ado About Nothing."

In 1994, Vélez made her film debut as character Lisette Linares in the film "I Like It Like That" alongside Jon Seda and Rita Moreno. For her work in the film, she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. The film was also screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. In 1996, she landed the role of Elaine Santos in the film "City Hall." She was nominated at the NCLR Bravo Awards in the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series category. The following year, in 1997, she was cast in "I Think I Do" as the character of Carol." She received a nomination at the ALMA Awards in the Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film category.

In 2000, Vélez appeared in "Prince of Central Park" as the character Rosa Sanchez. In 2007, she had a role in "Serial" as Roseanne Crystal. She received an award at the Long Island International Film Expo in the Best Supporting Actress category. In 2011, she appeared n the film "Rosewood Lane." In 2016, she appeared in two films – "Officer Downe" and "America Adrift." In 2018, she was cast in "The First Purge." The same year, she voiced the character of Rio Morales in the animated film "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." In 2019, she appeared in the film "Swallow," "Shaft," and "Widows on the World." In 2020, she appeared in "Ana" followed by "Rogue Hostage" in 2021. In 2021, she reprised her voice role in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." In 2023, she appeared in the film "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" as character Breanna Diaz.

Lauren Velez

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In addition to her impressive film career, Vélez is probably even more well-known for her various television roles. She began working in television in 1995 with a role in "The Cosby Mysteries." She then landed a major role in the series "New York Undercover" the same year as the character of Detective Nina Moreno. She remained on the popular show from 1995 to 1999. For her work on the show, she received awards and nominations at the NCLR Bravo Awards, the AMLA Awards, and the Image Awards.

From 1997 to 2003, she appeared on the show "Oz" as Dr. Gloria Nathan. In 2001, she received the AMLA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series. In 1998, she appeared in the television film "Thicker Than Blood." In 1999, she had roles on shows like "Strange World," "St. Michael's Crossing," and "Law & Order." In 2000, she appeared in "The Pretender" and "Profiler." She appeared in the television film "Love and Treason" in 2001. Over the next few years, she had guest roles on shows like "Dragnet," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Strong Medicine," "Wanted," and Medium." She also appeared in a few episodes of "Numbers" from 2006 to 2007.

In 2006, she landed her next major role in the series "Dexter" as character Maria LaGuerta." The series was nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Vélez individually also received awards and nominations at the MAMIC Vision Awards and the ALMA Awards for her work. She remained on the show until 2012.

From 2009 to 2010, she had a recurring role on "Ugly Betty." She also had a recurring role on "How to Get Away with Murder" from 2016 to 2017. She appeared in "Blue Bloods" the following year and also had a recurring role in "MacGyver." From 2022 to 2023, she appeared in "Power Book II: Ghost" and also in "East New York."

Personal Life

Vélez married Mark Gordon in 1993. They remained married for 22 years before divorcing in 2015. She is reportedly currently dating James Milos, Jr.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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