Constance Marie Lopez was born on September 9, 1965 in East L.A. The actress, a third-generation Mexican American initially showed more interest in another aspect of the performing arts: dance. She herself has stated that she got her start by breakdancing. Her skill eventually led to a part in a Japanese musical when she was 19—specifically, in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Cosmopolis.
Constance Marie returned to her home in East Los Angeles after Cosmopolis, but certainly not to anonymity. She landed another dancing after a choreographer saw her dancing in a club. The choreographer happened to be one of superstar David Bowie’s. This led to Marie taking part in the 1987 Glass Spider Tour.
By this time, Constance had already begun to garner notice for her combination of dancing skill and exotic Latin looks. As such, it was little surprise when her first foray into acting was for a film that had dance (and Latin dance, at that) at the forefront. Marie was cast as one of the dancers in Boaz Davidson’s 1988 film, Salsa. In the same year, she played Penny Rivera on the TV version of Dirty Dancing. She continued her run on the show until 1989.
Marie did a long series of TV shows after that. She played sultry and stubborn Nikki Alvarez in Santa Barbara in 1990, for instance, until the character was written off in a dramatic explosion. She appeared in a The Man in the Family episode the following year, as well as in an episode of Sibs and two episodes of Jake and the Fatman (as Bianca Alaman).
She was relatively quiet in 1992, with only 2 TV episode credits to her name. These were for the TV series Reasonable Doubts and The Hat Squad. This was succeeded by the role Joan Zevo in the comedy-sci-fi TV flick, 12:01.
Marie spent most of the 90’s doing TV programs and movies. She was on an episode of Cobra, for example. She played Connie Sealle in the 1994 TV movie Island City and Liz Shelby in the 1995 one Fast Company. She also appeared in an episode of The Sentinel in 1996, in Spin City in 1997, and several episodes of Union Square as Gabriella Diaz.
She played the character Venita in the TV series Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. She was also in the TV films The Underworld (1997) and The Last Marshal (1999).
Two of the most successful projects Marie participated in were also released in the 90’s. These were the independent drama film My Family in 1995, where she played Toni Sanchez, and of course, Selena.
Selena is arguably the project for which the actress is most known: it made Marie’s face familiar to an even greater number of the public. She was cast as Marcella Quintanilla, the mother of the eponymous singer. Marie had not even intended to audition for the role, however. She had initially gone to the audition with hopes of landing the lead role herself.
As most of us already know, it was Jennifer Lopez who was cast as Selena. Interestingly enough, the age gap between Marie and Lopez was so small that it would show clearly on camera: Lopez was a mere 4 years younger than the actress playing her mother. As a result, Marie had to undergo a full 4 hours of makeup application each day on the set, simply so she could appear older than she truly was.
What not all fans of the film or Marie may know is that the decision to cast Marie came from someone genuinely integral to the story of Selena. The real-life Marcella Quintanilla saw all of the actresses auditioning and chose Marie to play herself.
Marie later admitted that she had not been familiar with Selena at the time of the audition. Nevertheless, the actress prepared for her role by meeting the woman she was playing and consuming as many tapes and videos of the late singer.
While Marie and Lopez would go on to garner positive reviews for their performance, there was controversy over the casting choices that might (possibly) have been avoided had Marie been cast as the lead instead. Lopez’s selection to play a Mexican-American singer was not well-received at the time, as she was in fact a second-generation Puerto Rican. Nevertheless, the studio proceeded with the casting choices and the rest, as they say, is history. Marie also insisted at the time (as well as years later) that she disagreed with the dissenters, praising Lopez for her performance.
Marie opened the noughties with a role as Teresa Lopez in Dancing in September. She also ended her run on the TV show Early Edition (she had been playing Police Detective Toni Brigatti on the show since 1999). This followed with a role as Inez Cortez in Ally Mcbeal in 2001, as well as an uncredited appearance in See Spot Run.
Marie also appeared in the comedy TV series For Your Love. She played Samantha in the third and fourth seasons of the five-season show. She went on to star in Tortilla Soup, a film about a Mexican-American master chef played by Hector Elizondo. The same year, she lent her voice to an episode of That ‘70s Show.
2002 saw Marie as Nina Gonzalez in American Family as well as Angie Lopez in the George Lopez TV show. Her role as Angie Lopez would run until 2007, which was also the year she released her own line of clothes. Dubbed “The Constance Marie Collection”, they were released around the same time as her PETA ad for spaying and neutering pets.
In 2006, Marie was in the film Puff, Puff, Pass. She was also in a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode in 2008. A year after, in February, her daughter Luna was born. Marie had been in a relationship with Luna’s father, yoga instructor Kent Katich for some time by then. In fact, the two got engaged in 2000. The engagement would later fall through, however, but the couple remained together for 6 more years after Luna’s birth.
Marie’s adjustment to the life of a mother saw her taking it fairly easy in 2009, with only 2 TV episodes to her name: one for According to Jim and one for The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She went on to star as Victoria Corrales in the TV movie Class and to provide the voice of Imelda in the 2011 animated feature Puss in Boots.
2014 was also a quieter year for Marie. She played Sandar in the TV film Sweet Surrender and appeared on an episode of American Dad! in the same year. This was followed by the role of Dee Walker in the 2015 TV movie The Right Girl. She also appeared in a few episodes of Switched at Birth as Regina Vasquez.
It was 2016 that saw Marie returning to full activity in the TV scene. She was cast as Dona Paloma for the show Elena of Avalor and as Linda for Angel from Hell.
No matter where her career has brought her, Marie has maintained an interest in dance as well as healthy living. She has an official blog (ConstanceMarie.net), for instance, where she talks about how to be a “greeny mommy”. She also regularly tweets photos of herself exercising.
Constance Marie Net Worth : USD 5 Million