Laura Harring
Harring in 2016
Laura Elena Herring Martínez

(1964-03-03) March 3, 1964 (age 60)
(m. 1987; div. 1989)
Beauty pageant titleholder
Years active1987–present

Laura Elena Harring (née Herring Martínez, formerly Gräfin von Bismarck-Schönhausen; born March 3, 1964) is an American actress and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA 1985 and later began acting in television and film. She is best known for her dual roles as Rita and Camilla Rhodes in the 2001 movie Mulholland Drive. She is also known for her roles in other movies, including The Forbidden Dance (1990), John Q (2002), Willard (2003), The Punisher (2004), The King (2005), Love in the Time of Cholera (2007), Ghost Son (2007), The Caller (2008), Drool (2009), Sex Ed (2014), and Inside (2016). She also played Carla Greco in General Hospital (1990–1991), Paula Stevens on Sunset Beach (1997), and Rebecca "Becca" Doyle in The Shield (2006).

Early life

Laura Elena Herring Martínez was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico on March 3, 1964[1] Her mother, María Elena Martínez-Cairo, is a Mexican spiritual teacher, real estate investor, and former secretary. Her father, Raymond Herring, was a Mexican developer and organic farmer of Austrian-German descent.[2] The two divorced in 1971. Harring lived the first ten years of her life in Mexico, before her family relocated to San Antonio, Texas. Harring suffered a head wound from a .45 bullet when she was caught by stray fire from a driveby shooting at age 12.[3][4] At age 16, she convinced her family to let her study in Switzerland at Aiglon College. Harring studied theatre at the London Academy of Performing Arts, having trained in the Italian commedia dell'arte, as well as Latin dances, including the Argentine tango.[5] She eventually returned to the United States, settling down in El Paso, Texas and began competing in beauty pageants.



Harring won Miss El Paso USA, Miss Texas USA, then Miss USA 1985 becoming the first Hispanic woman to do so.[6][7][8] Harring then spent the next year traveling through Asia, exploring Europe and working as a social worker in India.[9]


Harring at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

Harring began acting in 1987, in the NBC television movie The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory (1987).[6] She played Raúl Juliá's character's wife, having been cast by NBC producers after they saw her on the Miss USA broadcast and contacted her with the role.[10] In 1989, appeared in her first movie Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!,[11] in the supporting role of Jerri, a flight attendant.[12]

In 1990, Harring was lead actress in the Columbia Pictures release The Forbidden Dance, in which she played the role of Nisa, a Brazilian princess.[13] That same year, she began a recurring role on the ABC daytime soap General Hospital, as Carla Greco.[14] The next few years, she had supporting roles in movies - Exit to Eden (1994),[15] and Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997).[16] In 1997, she played the role of Paula Stevens in the NBC soap opera Sunset Beach.[17] After leaving the show, she guest-starred on Frasier in the episode "Dial M for Martin", and appeared in the comedy film Little Nicky.[18]

Harring is best known for her performance in David Lynch's 2001 movie Mulholland Drive, opposite Naomi Watts and Justin Theroux. She played both the characters of Rita (an amnesiac who names herself after Rita Hayworth when seeing the name on a poster for the movie Gilda) and Camilla.[19] In response to her performance and the choice of her for the role, film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "Not many actresses would be bold enough to name themselves after Rita Hayworth, but Harring does, because she can. Slinky and voluptuous in clinging gowns, all she has to do is stand there and she's the first good argument in 55 years for a Gilda remake."[20] Comparisons were also made between Harring and Ava Gardner by the International Herald Tribune.[21][22] In 2002, she was awarded the American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film for her performance. Harring went on to work twice more with Lynch—as an anthropomorphic rabbit in the limited series Rabbits (2002)[23] and in a cameo appearance in Inland Empire (2006).[24]

In 2002, she appeared in John Q,[25] and was female lead opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Derailed.[citation needed] In 2003, she starred in Mi Casa, Su Casa together with Barbara Eden.[citation needed] In 2004, she was the spoiled wife of antagonist Mr. Saint (John Travolta), Livia Saint[26] in the movie adaptation of Marvel Comics's The Punisher.[27] In 2005, Harring starred in the independent film The King,[citation needed] and later had roles in Nancy Drew,[citation needed] Love in the Time of Cholera,[citation needed] The Caller,[21] and Drool, in which she plays an abused wife fleeing her husband.[28]

In 2006, Harring joined the cast of FX's crime drama, The Shield, as defense attorney Rebecca Doyle,[29] appearing in nine episodes of season five. In the role, she is hired by lead character Vic Mackey to protect his team of corrupt police officers against an Internal Affairs investigation.[29] From 2009 to 2010, she also appeared in four episodes as Evelyn Bass/Elizabeth Fisher in The CW series Gossip Girl.[30][31] In the show, she plays a woman posing as the long-lost mother of the character Chuck Bass, before her deceit is discovered by the other characters. She also guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2003, Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2010, and NCIS: Los Angeles in 2012 and 2016.[32] Harring was also cast in the independent film The Loner directed by Daniel Grove.[33] In 2016 she was cast in the English-language remake of the film Inside,[34] and in Legendary's first digital film The Thinning, alongside Logan Paul and Peyton List.[citation needed] In 2022, she appeared in the romantic comedy Father of the Bride playing Diego Boneta's mother.[35]

Laura Harring 2011

Personal life

In 1987, Harring married Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen, great-great-grandson of Otto von Bismarck. They have since divorced.[36]


This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Laura Harring" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this message)


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! Jerri [11][12]
1990 The Forbidden Dance Nisa [13]
1991 Dead Women in Lingerie Marcia
1994 Exit to Eden M.C. Kindra [15]
1997 Black Scorpion II: Aftershock Babette [16]
1997 Hoover Park Unknown
2000 Little Nicky Mrs. Dunleavy [18]
2001 Final Payback Gina Carrillo
2001 Feather Pimento Woman in Red Short film
2001 Mulholland Drive Camilla Rhodes/Rita Credited as Laura Elena Harring[19] ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2002 John Q. Gina Palumbo [25] and was female lead opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Derailed
2002 Derailed Galina Konstantin
2002 Rabbits Jane [23]
2003 Willard Cathryn
2003 Loco Love Catalina
2003 The Poet [fr] Paula
2004 The Punisher Livia Saint [37][27]
2005 All Souls Day Martia
2005 The King Twyla
2006 Walkout Francis Crisostomo
2006 Inland Empire Jane Rabbit / Party Guest [24]
2007 Ghost Son Stacey
2007 Nancy Drew Dehlia Draycott
2007 Love in the Time of Cholera Sara Noriega
2008 One Missed Call Mrs. Raymond Cameo
2008 The Caller Eileen [21]
2009 Drool Anora Fleece [28]
2010 Kluge
2011 Elwood Julie Jacobs Short film
2013 Return to Babylon Alla Nazimova
2014 Ice Scream Wendy
2014 Taco Shop
2014 Manson Girls Alice Rainer
2014 Sex Ed Lupe
2016 The Thinning Georgina Preston
2016 Inside The Woman [34]
2016 Love Kills Rosa
2018 The Thinning: New World Order Georgina Preston
2022 Father of the Bride Marcela Castillo [35]


Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory Santa Anna's bride Television movie[6]
1988 Desperado: Avalanche at Devil's Ridge Unknown Television movie
1988 Beauty and the Beast Carmen Episode: "The Alchemist"
1989 Alien Nation Female Newcomer Episode: "Three to Tango"
1990–91 General Hospital Carla Greco Recurring role[14]
1992 Baywatch Princess Catherine Randenberg Episode: "Princess of Tides"
1993 Blossom Nurse Episode: "The Fifty-Minute Hour"
1993 Rio Diablo Maria Benjamin Television movie
1995 Empire Gabriella Cochrane Unsuccessful television pilot
1995–96 Flipper Garcia 3 episodes
1996 Baywatch Nights Charlotte 'Charlie' McBride Episode: "Thin Blood"
1996, 1999 Silk Stalkings Paula Houston / Yvette Episodes: "Family Values", "Cook's Tour"
1997 Sunset Beach Paula Stevens Series regular, 141 episodes. Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Soap Opera[17]
1997 California Christina Guevara Unsuccessful television pilot (spin-off from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman)
1998 Frasier Rebecca Wendell Episode: "Dial M for Martin"
2000 Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Mysterious Woman Episode: "Episode 30" Segment: Deadbeat Daddy
2000 Black Scorpion Ariana Episode: "Out of Thin Air"
2000 A Family in Crisis: The Elian Gonzales Story Marisleysis Gonzalez Television movie
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Joan Quentin Episode: "Perfect"
2006 The Shield Rebecca Doyle 8 episodes[29]
2007 My Neighbor's Keeper Kate Powell Television movie
2009 Gossip Girl Evelyn Bass/Elizabeth 4 episodes[30][31]
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marta Caldera Episode: "True Legacy"[32]
2012–19 NCIS: Los Angeles Julia Feldman 5 episodes[32]
2014–15 Chasing Life Olivia Ortiz Episodes: "Guess Who's Coming to Donate?", "First Person"


  1. ^ "Laura Harring". Retrieved August 11, 2023.
  2. ^ Frank Javier Garcia Berumen (2014). Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films Since the 1960s. McFarland. p. 307. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Cover Story: Being shot in the head with a .45 changed my life". Scottish Daily Record. 2004.
  4. ^ "Women We Love: Laura Elena Harring". Esquire. February 1, 2002. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008.
  5. ^ "Laura Harring"
  6. ^ a b c "Laura Elena Harring Biography". Yahoo! Movies.
  7. ^ "Laura Harring: Biography". TV Guide.
  8. ^ "Laura Elena Harring movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography". AllMovie. 1964-03-03. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  9. ^ "Laura Harring" Archived 2016-10-31 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Melissa Parker (August 10, 2010). "Laura Harring Interview: 'Mulholland Drive' Star Discovered at Miss USA Pageant". Smashing Interviews Magazine.
  11. ^ a b "30th Anniversary Silent Night, Deadly Night Retrospective: Part 3 - Dread Central". 24 December 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b Roxburgh, Charles; Farley, Matt; Scalzo, Tom (2004). ShockJuly: An Adventure in Horror. iUniverse, Inc. p. 109. ISBN 0-595-30858-9.
  13. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (March 16, 2015). "Celebrating 25 Years of the Dueling Lambada Movies". Vanity Fair.
  14. ^ a b Kellner, Elena (June 24, 1993). "Perez Joins '$2 Million Tip' Film Cast". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ a b "Exit to Eden: Cast & Crew". TV Guide.
  16. ^ a b Sherman, Fraser A. (2000). Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Made for Television. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7864-4341-3.
  17. ^ a b Javier, Frank; Berumen, Garcia (2014). Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films Since the 1960s. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 307. ISBN 978-0-7864-7432-5.
  18. ^ a b "Little Nicky: Cast & Crew". TV Guide.
  19. ^ a b Giannopoulou, Zina, ed. (2013). Mulholland Drive. Routledge. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-415-82465-1.
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 12, 2001). "Mulholland Drive".
  21. ^ a b c Verswijver, Leo (February 3, 2015). "Laura Harring: 'Film means something, you can make a difference with a film'".
  22. ^ Dupont, Joan (May 19, 2001). "Cannes Film Festival: A Smooth Exterior But Wild at Heart: David Lynch in Competition for 4th Time". International Herald Tribune.
  23. ^ a b Thomas, Bryan (April 16, 2017). "'Rabbits': David Lynch's surreal sitcom about three rabbits". Night Flight. Archived from the original on April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Keesey, Douglas (2010). Neo-Noir. Kamera Books. ISBN 978-1-84243-311-9.
  25. ^ a b Berry, S. Torriano; Berry, Venise T. (2007). The A to Z of African American Cinema. Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-8108-6871-7.
  26. ^ Ebert, Roger (2007). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2007. Andrews McMeel Publishing, Inc. p. 561. ISBN 978-0-7407-6157-7.
  27. ^ a b "The Punisher". Rotten Tomatoes. 16 April 2004. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  28. ^ a b "Trio cast in 'Drool'". The Hollywood Reporter. October 26, 2008.
  29. ^ a b c Shister, Gail (2005-10-27). "Laura Harring joins 'Shield'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  30. ^ a b "'Gossip Girl' Spoilers: More on Chuck's Mother". Buddy TV. December 10, 2009.
  31. ^ a b "Laura Harring to Play Chuck Bass' Mom". TV Fanatic. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  32. ^ a b c "Laura Harring: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  33. ^ Fuller, Graham (22 April 2016). "Tribeca Film Festival 2016 round-up". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  34. ^ a b Squires, John (May 4, 2016). "Laura Harring Joins English-Language Inside Remake". Dread Central.
  35. ^ a b "Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan Headline a Father of a Bride Worth Attending". June 14, 2022. Archived from the original on July 20, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  36. ^ "Laura Harring: Countess von Bismarck, I presume". The Independent. 13 December 2001. Retrieved 9 May 2024.
  37. ^ Ebert, Roger (2007). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2007. Andrews McMeel Publishing, Inc. p. 561. ISBN 978-0-7407-6157-7.
Awards and achievements Preceded byLaura Shaw Miss Texas USA 1985 Succeeded byChristy Fichtner Preceded byNew Mexico Mai Shanley Miss USA 1985 Succeeded byTexas Christy Fichtner Media offices Preceded byAngie Dickinson Miss USA color commentator (with Leeza Gibbons) 1990 Succeeded byBarbara Eden and Deborah Shelton Preceded byLeeza Gibbons and Courtney Gibbs Miss USA color commentator (with Arthel Neville) 1994 Succeeded byDaisy Fuentes