Award-winning film and television actress, model and activist Leonor Varela is an international star whose talent has touched audiences in all corners of the globe.
Varela first came to the attention of U.S. audiences when she starred in the title role of ABC's acclaimed mini-series CLEOPATRA. Daily Variety called her "a true find, inhabiting the role with a smoldering gusto born of defiant confidence." Varela has since gone on to star in a number of major Hollywood motion pictures, including BLADE II opposite Wesley Snipes, TAILOR OF PANAMA opposite Geoffrey Rush and Pierce Brosnan, among many others. She had a recurring guest lead in the popular Emmy-winning TV series ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, a tantalizing seven-episode arc on the new DALLAS, and a guest starring role on Joss Whedon's hit show AGENTS OF SHIELD. Most recently Varela starred in the Helen Hunt directed feature RIDE opposite Luke Wilson and wrapped a lead role in the true crime thriller CAPTIVE with Kate Mara, David Oyelowo and Michael K. Williams.
As a native of Chile who studied in France and has been living in the U.S. for many years, Varela is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Throughout her career she has drawn on this diverse background by taking on a stunningly wide array of foreign roles that have garnered critical acclaim and awards. In 2009 she starred in the Spanish language movie SLEEP DEALER, which was nominated for "Best First Feature" at the Independent Spirit Awards. She was honored at the 23rd Annual Imagen Awards with "Best Supporting Actress" for WHERE GOD LEFT HIS SHOES and received Miami's New Herald "Best Actress of the Year" award for her turn in Luis Mandoki's INNOCENT VOICES. Varela also starred opposite Jean Reno and Gerard Depardieu in the French comedy mega-hit TAIS-TOI, which remained atop the box office in France for many weeks.
In addition to her acting career, Varela has appeared in major campaigns for international beauty brands such as Pantene and her face has graced the covers of magazines throughout the world.
When she is not working, Varela loves to spend time with her husband, producer/actor Lucas Akoskin and their beloved son, Matteo. She also dedicates herself passionately to a number of charitable causes such as environmental issues and Ocean conservation in collaboration with the likes of Oceana, and NRDC.
Leonor is dedicated to a number of marine and environmental life causes, and has acted as spokesperson for organizations such as OCEANA, NRDC, Save the Whales, Make-A-Wish and others. Below are just some of the past passion projects with which she has been involved.