Constance Marie floored audiences with her performance as Selena’s mother in Selena (1997), the biographical drama about the pop artist’s rise and the tragic ending of her life. Through extensive makeup preparation, Marie was transformed to look substantially older than her on-screen daughter, played by Jennifer Lopez — the actual age difference between the two actresses was merely one year. Marie’s emotional portrayal in the role left no doubt of her maturity as a performer, with or without the makeup.
Born September 9, 1969, in Hollywood, CA, Marie’s first role was playing Penny in the film spin-off series Dirty Dancing. In 1995, she starred in the Newline feature My Family, as Toni Sanchez, earning her substantial credit in the field. Her role in Selena two years later solidified her impression as a performer, and would veer her career toward dramatic roles both on television and in films.
Marie had several roles on TV series, including one recurring on the NBC series Union Square in 1997. Additionally, her film credits continued to grow, mainly in the vein of drama. In 2000, she was featured in the Sundance Film Festival feature Dancing in September. She appeared in See Spot Run and as Yolanda in Tortilla Soup a year later. After a few years without much emphasis on her television career, she returned to the tube, appearing simultaneously on two different networks. She starred as Angie, the wife of standup comic George Lopez, in the 2002 ABC sitcom The George Lopez Show, and as Nina in the critically acclaimed PBS dramatic series American Family of the same year.