Selenis Leyva is one of the breakout stars of NETFLIX’s hit series Orange Is The New Black, which won the 2015 coveted Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy Series. Leyva reprises her role as series regular and fan favorite Gloria Mendoza in Season 4 of OITNB and also made history as the first Latina Senator on HBO’s Emmy-winning series, Veep, starring opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Leyva recently wrapped production in the highly anticipated feature film “CUSTODY”, starring opposite Catalina Sandino Moreno, Viola Davis, and Raul Esparza with James Lapine directing.
Leyva’ numerous television credits include guest & recurring roles on hit shows like Madam Secretary, Law & Order: SVU, Blood Bloods, The Good Wife, Girls, Elementary, The Following, The Sopranos, and Third Watch. On the big screen, she’s been seen in Sex & The City 2, the Oscar-nominated film, Maria Full of Grace, and the animated films Ice Age: Continental Drift, EPIC and Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs. A triple threat, Leyva also has numerous acting credits on the New York Stage, including the iconic role of Celia Cruz in the off-Broadway hit CELIA, and the critically acclaimed plays Anna in the Tropics and Dona Flor & Her 2 Husbands. Expanding her career further, Leyva is working behind the camera as Executive Producer to her 1st indie film called Romeo & Romeo, release date in 2016.
Born and raised in New York City, Leyva is a proud Latina of Cuban and Dominican descent. In addition to being the first Hispanic Ambassador for the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research (her brother is a 2x cancer survivor), Leyva is also the recipient of the 2015 HOLA “Jose Ferrer Tespis Award”, 2015 Cosmo For Latina’s Women of the Year Award”, and she was honored at the 2014 ALMA Awards with a “Special Achievement Award” for breaking barriers in the arts. She is also an advocate for LGBT rights and works closely with LGBT Human Rights Organizations and Anti-Bullying Campaigns.