BIOGRAPHY

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.










A LITTLE ACTING

Complete list of films/TV shows on imdb.com










PASSION PROJECTS

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.



EXTENSION OF MARINE RESERVE IN RAPA NUI
EXTENSION OF MARINE RESERVE IN RAPA NUI

The Chilean actress Leonor Varela and Oceana call to protect the ecosystems around Easter Island and Salas y Gómez through the expansion of the Marine Reserve Motu Motiro Hiva and the creation of a Marine Reserve in Hanga Roa Bay. More information at oceana.org

Click here to watch the video.

REVOCATION OF FORMER PRESIDENT PIÑERA OF THERMOELECTRIC PROJECT IN PUNTA DE CHOROS
REVOCATION OF FORMER PRESIDENT PIÑERA OF THERMOELECTRIC PROJECT IN PUNTA DE CHOROS

In the context of the energy campaign of Oceana, Leonor Varela visited La Higuera in the IV Region of Chile. After meeting the communities of Los Choros and Punta de Choros, she referred to the promise made by the former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, to oppose all thermoelectric projects affecting communities, the environment and the quality of life. Following this, and after a demonstration in Santiago where Leonor took active part, former President Piñera revoked the decision to build the thermoelectric. Click here to watch the video.

LEONOR DEMANDS CLEAN POWER
LEONOR DEMANDS CLEAN POWER

Concerned about the consequences of global warming, and the impact that this conflict will bring to our lives, Leonor joins NRDC to ask President Obama for more clean energy, for the benefit of future generations.

Click here to watch the video.

A Call To Action
A CALL TO ACTION - "STOP WHALE HUNTING"

As part of the International Whaling Convention (CBI) Leonor made a public call to attend the O'Higgins Park in Chile.

The idea was to put pressure on the CBI, to stop the indiscriminate hunting of whales. The public attendance was massive, and had the presence of Chile's Minister of Environment Ana Lya Uriarte and Steve Chadwick, Minister of Conservation in New Zealand.

Whale Hunting Protest in O'Higgins Park


The thousands of participants formed the image of a giant whale that was photographed from the air, and the national press consigned it on their covers the first day of the convention.

Shortly after, President Michelle Bachelet extended protection to whales in the country, indefinitely and permanently.

MAKE A WISH
MAKE-A-WISH

Thanks to the active participation and closeness with NGOs, Leonor was named "Celebrity with big heart" by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. An honor she cherishes very close to her heart.










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