2017 Latina of Influence | Marlene Forte

Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize Actress Marlene Forte as a 2017 Latina of Influence. Ms. Forte along with our entire list of 2017 Latinas of Influence are invited to participate in Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2017 Latina Conference taking place April 5 – 6, 2017 in Ontario, California.

Marlene Forte co-stars in Fox’s upcoming drama series “APB” as well as Netflix’s much talked about “Altered Carbon”.

These are two top shows where the # 2 on the cast list are young Latina actresses, and Forte plays their mother in both series.

As we continue to fight for diversity and gender equality this says a lot about where we’re moving, not just on the small screen but in real life too.

Forte is one of those rare talents whose dedication continues to set a standard in Hollywood.

In this 2012 interview with Hispanic Lifestyle we meet Marlene and she talks about career and family.

With each character and role she takes on, Marlene Forte is refining a formula of proving Hollywood wrong by continually breaking through Hollywood’s stereotypes when it comes to older women and carving a niche for the Latino community by tearing down the walls of “ethnic minorities”.

Bringing her Forte’tude to the small screen, on February 6 Marlene Forte stepped into the shoes of Mita, the mother of Amelia Murphy (played by Natalie Martinez) on Fox’s “APB”.

Actress Marlene Forte

Actress Marlene Forte

A police drama with a high tech twist, APB comes from executive producer and director Len Wiseman and executive producer/writer Matt Nix and stars Justin Kirk, Natalie Martinez, Eric Winter, Ernie Hudson, Taylor Handley, Tamberla Perry, Caitlin Stasey and Marlene Forte.

Keeping with the sci-fi theme, Forte will also be seen in “Altered Carbon”, Netflix 10-episode drama series from Skydance Television starring Joel Kinnaman.

Based on Richard Morgan’s award-winning 2002 cyberpunk sci-fi novel, Altered Carbon is set in the 25th century when the human mind has been digitized and the soul is transferable from one body to the next. Forte plays Alazne Ortega, the mother to the female lead played by Martha Higareda.

After Decades in the industry, Forte is one of those familiar faces to which you’d have trouble putting the name. Yet you’ve seen here everywhere simply because she’s played them all.

In fact, her work reads like the ultimate directory of television – from “Crossing Jordan”, “The George Lopez Show”, “The Mentalist”, “Law & Order”, “Bones”, “Daybreak”, “The West Wing”,  “ER”, “Lost”, “Castle” to “House of Payne”, “24”, “ Community”, and “The Secret Life Of The American Teenager”, among many others.

Of course, her recurring role in TNT’s relaunched “Dallas” playing Carmen Ramos and her character Celia Flores in AMC’s “Fear of the Walking Dead” have made her even more recognizable.

On the movie side, she played the transporter chief in the 2009 JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot; Mrs. Glass in “Real Women Have Curves”; and the unforgettable Pilar Brown in “Our Song” opposite Kerry Washington (“Scandal”). She appeared recently in the Marlon Wayans’ parnormal’esque parody  “A Haunted House”, and Tyler Perry’s “A Single Mom’s Club” (her second time working with the award-winning director).

Marlene Forte’s Hollywood success story unfolds like a rags-to-riches movie script – it is a story that not only anyone can relate to, but also feel inspired from.

When Marlene turned 30, she decided to become an actress. That’s a late start for most occupations; in Hollywood it’s nearly unheard of. But for Cuban born girl named for one of Tinseltown’s brightest stars (Marlene Dietrich) perhaps the journey was predestined.

Forte opened and ran a video store for six years as sort of an “intense film education,” then she sold the place, took classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and snagged an adjunct spot at The Lab, where she shadowed such actors as Sam Rockwell and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Today Marlene Forte most definitely provides a shinning example of how women can “make it” in Hollywood on their own terms.

Nomination submitted by Mona Elyafi

Author: Richard Sandoval

Richard Sandoval is an award winning journalist who produces Hispanic Lifestyle a television program broadcasting on several PBS stations throughout the United States. editorial@Hispaniclifestyle.com

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