I was born on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Cuba. As a young child in Havana I vividly remember my dad's modest little cafe where family and friends would gather to rehash old stories, and catch up on new ones. My mother, Ana Lusia Garcia-Pages was a devoted physician in Havana and spent much of her early career caring for patients in various hospitals in and around Havana. When the revolution began my dad, who we call Pipo, decided it was time to leave everything we had cherished behind and move the family to the United States.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, and speaking absolutely no English whatsoever, my family and I moved into a very small studio apartment in Atwater Village, a quaint suburb of northeast Los Angeles. My sister Betty and I attended John Marshall High School in the Los Feliz area and we graduated in the late 70's. After being in Los Angeles for a few years my mom finally realized that if she was to continue her medical career in the United States we would need to move back to Miami where specific programs were in place to help physicians who emigrated from Cuba. After intense studying my mom passed the Florida State Medical exam for physicians and once again was proudly able to place the prefix "Doctor" in front of her name. Dr. Garcia-Pages wasted no time opening up a practice in Hialeah, Fl where, over time, she accumulated a mass of loyal, happy and healthy patients.
While attending The University of Miami and working on my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, I was cast in the Emmy Award winning sit-com "Que Pasa, USA?. The program was shot weekly in Miami and aired nationally on PBS. It was often embarrasing for me to walk the streets of Miami constantly being recognized as "Violeta", one of the co-stars of Que Pasa. When the curtains finally came down on the show, I packed my bags and headed west to Hollywood.
I was really fortunate to have been cast in many roles in my early acting career. I was a recurring character on Berrengers which aired on NBC, and also had roles in Dallas, Hill Street Blues, T.J. Hooker and many others. In 1982, the gigantic supermarket chain "Lucky's" was in search of a Spanish language spokeswoman so my long time agent, Leanna Levy, sent me on the audition. Although I didn't think I had even a remote chance of landing the gig, the phone call came in one fall afternoon and well, the rest is history. I was honored to work alongside Stephanie Edwards, Lucky's English language spokeswoman for over 12 years. Stephanie is a wonderful person and I'm priviledged to know her. I appeared in almost 100 Lucky's television commercials, did hundreds and hundreds of Lucky's radio spots and tons of personal appearances at various stores for all those years.
In 1991 I met my husband, radio personality and TV producer Mel Maddox. We were hired to host a popular Spanglish language radio show in Los Angeles on KWIZ-FM entitled "Radio Pachanga". The program aired Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 pm and focussed on tropical music such as salsa and merengue, along with artist interviews, contests and so on. Both Mel and I were happy to have given Marc Anthony plenty of mic time and airtime in Los Angeles to help launch his musical career. After dating for a couple years Mel and I were married on September 10th, 1994. Today we make our home in the tranquil foothills of Glendale, CA just north of Glendale College. I spend much of my time, like many other actresses, going on auditions and callbacks in search of the next great role. I also had the opportunity to work alongside my husband on several of the TV shows he created. As Supervising Producer my experience behind the camera has added greatly to my knowledge of the entertainment industry in general.
Below is my bio. Of course, I could keep going on for days but I believe this concise version gives you a pretty good idea of my background, where I've been and what I've accomplished. I'd like to take a moment to sincerely thank everyone who, along my journey, has taken an interest in me. I especially would like to recognize my long time manager, Ron Feinberg, who provided me with the confidence I so very much needed years ago. Ron is greatly missed, may he rest in the peace of God!
The Wallis Agency
Contact: Kristene Wallis
Cassell - Levy, Inc.
Contact: Leanna Levy, Richard