Marlene Forte is a whole woman. Spend five minutes with her, and experience her up close: the wide, expressive gestures, the rich, deep voice, the laugh that fills a room. This is a woman who’s done many things, and does many things well: who’s lived a whole life, as a single mom and a strong woman and a Latina immigrant and a woman, as simple and complex as that can be.
In Angela Ortíz. Recent conversation with Marlene Forte, we learned a lot: that she didn’t come to acting until her thirties; that’s she’s made a living and raised her family from her work on stage, in Movies, on TV, and even on the web and in an occasional radio program “back in the day.” And though she’s played more than her fair share of maids and desperate women, she’s best-remembered for her roles and admirable Latinas, both in comedy and drama. She’s worked with Damon Wayans and Tyler Perry; she was in Real Woman Have Curves and for an instant in Star Trek; you seen her in everything from House of Payne to Caste to The Mentalist to Lost, and now–as her recurring role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager draws to a clothes with the series cancellation, she’s stronger than ever as the housekeeper at South Fork and the mother of its most beautiful resident. And she’s got movies poised for release in 2013 and 14, including Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club with William Levy and Eddie Cibrian and Lorena Gordon’s Times Like These with newcomer Nancy Castro. And of course she’ll be back as “Carmen Ramos” in the next season of Cynthia Cidre’s Dallas on TNT.
In this leisurely sit-down, we learn about her work as an actress, her life as a professional “guest star” and how she’s managed to carve out a career in a challenging business. We even learn her favorite fruit…and get another glimpse of the whole woman that’s Marlene Forte.