Talisa Soto

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Talisa Soto
Talisa Soto.png
Miriam Talisa Soto

(1967-03-27) March 27, 1967 (age 54)[1][2]
Other namesDesiree More
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1982–2002, 2009
Known forLupe Lamora – Licence to Kill
Princess KitanaMortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)

Talisa Soto (born March 27, 1967) is a former American actress and model. Soto is known for portraying Bond girl Lupe Lamora in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, and as Kitana in the 1995 fantasy action film Mortal Kombat and its 1997 sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Prior to her acting career, Soto worked as a model, appearing in magazines such as Mademoiselle, Glamour and Elle.

Early life[edit]

Miriam Talisa Soto was born in Brooklyn, New York,[4] the youngest of four children of parents who move from Puerto Rico.[5] During her early childhood, her parents moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Soto and her siblings were raised and educated.[citation needed]



At age 15, Soto signed with Click Model Management and began modeling during summer vacations. Weeks after being signed, she traveled to Paris where she appeared in a layout for Vogue shot by Bruce Weber. Soto returned to Northampton after the summer to resume her schooling and would continue to model on occasion until she graduated from high school.[6] She later appeared on the covers of American and British Vogue, British Elle, Mademoiselle, Glamour and Self magazines. Soto has been featured in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Cartier, Clarins, Revlon, Salvatore Ferragamo, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Versace.[7] Soto also appeared in her first music video with former boyfriend Nick Kamen, Madonna's song "Each Time You Break My Heart", directed by Tony Viramontes.[6] Soto and Kamen were often used as models by Ray Petri: the late fashion stylist and creator of the 1980s London "Buffalo Boy" look.[8]


In 1988, when Soto returned to the United States, she auditioned and landed the role of "India" in her feature debut, Spike of Bensonhurst, a comedy which starred Sasha Mitchell and Ernest Borgnine. In 1988, Soto was cast as Lupe Lamora, in the James Bond film Licence to Kill starring Timothy Dalton and as Maria Rivera in The Mambo Kings. Soto has appeared in more than twenty films, among which are: Mortal Kombat (1995) as Kitana; Island of the Dead as Melissa O'Keefe; Piñero (2001) as Sugar, starring Benjamin Bratt; and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) as Ryne alongside Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas. Soto also made two guest appearances on the television series C-16: FBI. In 1995, she played the role of Doña Julia, Johnny Depp's first love interest in the tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco, Depp playing the title role. She also made an appearance in Marc Anthony's music video for "I Need to Know". In 1996, Soto played the title role in the campy film Vampirella based on the comic book character. Her last major film appearance would be in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever before retiring from acting upon marrying her husband Benjamin Bratt. She would only do one more film, La Mission (2009), which was directed by her brother-in-law Peter Bratt.[9]

Public image[edit]

In 1990, Soto was chosen by People as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.[10] In 1995, she was featured in the Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Issue".[7] She was ranked #58 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1997, Soto married actor Costas Mandylor but later divorced in 2000.[9]

Soto began a relationship with actor Benjamin Bratt, whom she had met when they played lovers in the film Pinero, when they attended the film's premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival.[12] They married on April 13, 2002 in San Francisco. Their daughter was born December 6, 2002.[13] Their son was born October 3, 2005.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village Studio Dancer Uncredited
1988 The French as Seen By... French Girl Episode: "The Cowboy and the Frenchman"
1988 Spike of Bensonhurst India
1989 Licence to Kill Lupe Lamora
1990 Silhouette Marianna Herrera Television film
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Rosina Television film
1992 The Mambo Kings Maria Rivera
1992 Hostage Joanna
1993–1994 Harts of the West Cassie 15 episodes
1994 Don Juan DeMarco Doña Julia
1995 Mortal Kombat Princess Kitana
1996 Spy Hard Seductress In Hotel Room Credited as Desiree More
1996 Sunchaser Navajo Woman
1996 Vampirella Vampirella Direct-to-video
1997 Flypaper Amanda
1997 The Corporate Ladder Susan Taylor
1997 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Princess Kitana Alternative title: Mortal Kombat 2
1998 C-16: FBI Rosemary Vargas 2 episodes
1998-2019 "The Melissa Films" Melissa & Michael's Mom 22 films
2000 That Summer in L.A. Marisabel
2000 Flight of Fancy Mercedes Marquez Alternative titles: Facing Fear
2000 Island of the Dead Melissa O'Keefe Television film
2001 Piñero 'Sugar'
2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Rayne Ecks / Vinn Gant
2009 La Mission Ana Credited as Talisa Soto Bratt
2013 Elysium Tisha Uncredited

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film
1989 ShoWest Convention Won Female Star of Tomorrow
2002 ALMA Award Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Piñero

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Magill's Cinema Annual - Talisa Soto - 1967
  2. ^ James Bond FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Everyone's Favorite Superspy - Lupe Lamora - By Tom DeMichael
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture, Volume 1 - Talisa Soto - By Cordelia Candelaria
  4. ^ Candelaria, Cordelia; Aldama, Arturo J.; García, Peter J. (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture. 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 778. ISBN 0-313-32215-5.
  5. ^ Miller, Samantha (2002-04-29). "Benjamin's Surprise". 57 (16). ISSN 0093-7673. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b "Talisa Soto: Catwalk Queen Strides To New Life". New Sunday Times: 2. 1989-07-23.
  7. ^ a b Talisa Soto at Fashion Model Directory
  8. ^ Limnander, Armand (2009-10-19). "Ray Petri's Enduring Style". nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Talisa Soto Biography (1967-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  10. ^ "50 Most Beautiful People". People: 57. 1990-05-09. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  11. ^ "The 2002 Hot 100 List". maxim.com. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Benjamin Bratt & Wife Have a Boy". People. October 7, 2005. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2002-12-17). "New Bratt in the House for Ben, Talisa". People. Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]