Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino (/ɡʊˈn/; born August 29, 1971) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Ingrid Cortez in the Spy Kids trilogy (2001–2003), Ritchie Roberts’ wife Laurie in American Gangster (2007), Sally Jupiter in Watchmen (2009), Dr. Vera Gorski in Sucker Punch (2011), and as the lead characters in the television series Karen Sisco, Threshold, The Haunting of Hill House, and Jett. Gugino's feature film work includes starring roles in Son in Law (1993), Sin City (2005), Night at the Museum (2006), Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011), San Andreas (2015), and The Space Between Us and Gerald's Game (both 2017), as well as the voice role of Kelor in the DC Extended Universe. Gugino has also had lead roles in the television series Political Animals (2012), Wayward Pines (2015), Roadies (2016), and Jett (2019).

Carla Gugino
Gugino in 2013
Born (1971-08-29) August 29, 1971
Years active1988–present
Partner(s) Sebastián Gutiérrez (1996–present)
RelativesCarol Merrill (aunt)

Early life

Gugino was born in Sarasota, Florida, to Carl Gugino, an orthodontist of Italian descent,[1] and a mother of English-Irish descent[2] described as "Bohemian".[3] Her parents separated when she was two,[4] after which she travelled between her father and half-brother Carl Jr.'s home in Sarasota, and her Paradise, California, home, to which her mother moved her when she was four.

She has said of her upbringing, "I lived in a tepee in Northern California and a van in Big Sur. With my dad, I lived in a beautiful house with a swimming pool and a tennis court and went to Europe for the summers. So I feel like I lived two childhoods." She worked as a teenage fashion model, and took acting classes at the suggestion of her aunt, former Let's Make a Deal spokesmodel Carol Merrill.[3] She eventually came to support herself, and with her parents' support, was legally emancipated by the time she was 16.[1]


Gugino's television work during the late 1980s and early 1990s included appearances on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Who's the Boss?, ALF, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Wonder Years and a recurring role on Falcon Crest.

In film, Gugino appeared in the Shelley Long film Troop Beverly Hills, and co-starred with Pauly Shore in the 1993 romantic comedy Son in Law. She later appeared in the video to Bon Jovi's 1994 song "Always".

In 1995, Gugino appeared as Nan St. George (later the Duchess of Trevenick) with Greg Wise and James Frain in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers, an adaptation of Edith Wharton's last novel.

After playing Michael J. Fox's love interest, Ashley Schaeffer, during the first season of the sitcom Spin City in 1996, Gugino starred with Nicolas Cage in Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes, and in Judas Kiss, which she also co-produced. She appeared as Dr. Gina Simon during the 1999–2000 final season of Chicago Hope.

In 2001, she appeared as family matriarch Ingrid Cortez in the first Spy Kids film (as well as the film's two sequels in 2002 and 2003). That same year she appeared as Jet Li's love interest in the martial arts action thriller The One.

She starred in two short-lived TV series: ABC's Elmore Leonard crime drama Karen Sisco in 2003, and CBS' science fiction series Threshold in 2005. That same year, Gugino appeared as Lucille in the feature film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel, Sin City. The following year, she appeared in the movie Night at the Museum.

Gugino appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company play After the Fall opposite Six Feet Under's Peter Krause. In late 2006, she appeared in an Off-Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer opposite Blythe Danner.[5]

Gugino appeared as Amanda, Vincent Chase's agent, in a dozen episodes of the cable television series Entourage.[6] Gugino appeared nude in the May 2007 issue of Allure.[7] That same year she appeared in the action-horror film Rise: Blood Hunter and the feature film American Gangster. The following year, she played the female lead in the thriller Righteous Kill, opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.

Gugino starred in Chicago's Goodman Theater production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms from January 17 to February 17, 2009, in the role of Abby. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times praised Gugino's performance, saying, "Ms. Gugino displays a depth and range of expression that I cannot imagine any other actress achieving with such blazing honesty and wrenching truth. She is simply magnificent."[8] During the first three months of 2009, three feature films premiered featuring Gugino: the thriller The Unborn, the film Watchmen, in which she played Sally Jupiter,[9] and the adventure remake Race to Witch Mountain, in which she starred opposite Dwayne Johnson. That April, she received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination[10] for Outstanding Actress In a Play for her performance in Desire Under the Elms. Later in November of that year, she appeared as a pornographic actress in the comedy film Women in Trouble, which spawned a sequel in 2010, Elektra Luxx, titled after her character.

In 2011, Gugino appeared as Madame Vera Gorsky in Zack Snyder's action-fantasy film Sucker Punch alongside Abbie Cornish and Emily Browning. Gugino sang a duet with co-star Oscar Isaac, which appeared in the end credits and in the film's soundtrack. She also guest starred on the fourth season of Californication as Abby Rhodes, Hank Moody's attorney and love interest.

In mid-2012, Gugino had a lead role as Susan Berg, a Washington, D.C., investigative reporter, on the USA Network's miniseries Political Animals.

In 2015, Gugino had a lead role in the disaster film, San Andreas, where she once again starred opposite Dwayne Johnson.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Troop Beverly Hills Chica Barnfell
1990 Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael Young Roxy
1993 This Boy's Life Norma
1993 Red Hot Valentina
1993 Son in Law Rebecca Warner
1995 Miami Rhapsody Leslie
1996 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco Delilah Voice role
1996 The War at Home Melissa
1996 Wedding Bell Blues Violet
1996 Michael Bride
1997 Lovelife Amy
1998 Jaded Megan 'Meg' Harris
1998 Snake Eyes Julia Costello
1998 Judas Kiss Coco Chavez
2001 Spy Kids Ingrid Cortez
2001 The Center of the World Jerri
2001 The Jimmy Show Annie
2001 The One T.K. Law/Massie Walsh
2001 She Creature Lily
2002 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Ingrid Cortez
2003 The Singing Detective Betty Dark/Hooker
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Ingrid Cortez
2005 The Life Coach Carla
2005 Sin City Lucille
2006 Even Money Veronica
2006 Night at the Museum Rebecca Hutman
2007 The Lookout Janet
2007 Rise: Blood Hunter Eve
2007 American Gangster Laurie Roberts
2008 Righteous Kill Det. Karen Corelli
2009 The Unborn Janet Beldon
2009 Sparks Robin Short film
2009 Watchmen Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
2009 Race to Witch Mountain Dr. Alex Friedman
2009 Women in Trouble Elektra Luxx
2009 Under the Hood Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre Short film
2010 The Mighty Macs Cathy Rush
2010 Elektra Luxx Elektra Luxx
2010 Every Day Robin
2010 Faster Cicero
2011 I Melt With You Laura
2011 Girl Walks into a Bar Francine Driver
2011 Sucker Punch Dr. Vera Gorski
2011 Mr. Popper's Penguins Amanda Popper
2011 New Year's Eve Dr. Morriset
2012 Hotel Noir Hanna Click
2013 By Virtue Fall Actress
2013 Man of Steel Kelor[11] Voice role
2014 Match Lisa
2015 San Andreas Emma
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Kelor Voice role
2016 Wolves Jenny Keller
2016 Bling Catherine Voice role
2017 The Space Between Us Kendra
2017 Gerald's Game Jessie Burlingame
2018 Elizabeth Harvest Claire
TBA Gunpowder Milkshake Mathilde Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Who's the Boss? Jane Episode: "Prom Night II"
1988 Good Morning, Miss Bliss Karen Episode: "Summer Love"
1989 ALF Laura Episode: "Standing in the Shadows of Love"
1989–90 Falcon Crest Sydney St. James Recurring role (season 9)
1990 American Dreamer Young Jessica Episode: "Pilot"
1990 Ferris Bueller Ann Peyson Episode: "Stand-In Deliver"
1991 Doogie Howser, M.D. Sara Newman Episode: "Planet of the Dateless"
1991 The Wonder Years Sandy Episode: "Triangle"
1992 Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story Allison Connors Television film
1992 Quantum Leap Michelle Temple Cutter Episode: "Ghost Ship – August 13, 1956"
1992 Davis Rules Kathi Episodes: "Someone to Watch Over Them", "A Father Makes All the Difference"
1992 A Private Matter Mary Beth Television film
1994 Motorcycle Gang Leann Morris Television film
1995 The Buccaneers Annabel "Nan" St. George 5 episodes
1996, 1998 Spin City Ashley Schaeffer Starring role (season 1), Episode: "It Happened One Night"
1999 Hotel Alexandria Unknown Italian miniseries, 6 episodes
1999 Bonne Nuit Carol Reeves Television film
1999 A Season for Miracles Emilie Thompson Television film
1999–2000 Chicago Hope Dr. Gina Simon Main role in season 6 (23 episodes)
2001 She Creature Lily Television film
2003–2004 Karen Sisco Karen Sisco Lead role (10 episodes)
2005–2006 Threshold Dr. Molly Anne Caffrey Main role (13 episodes)
2007–2010 Entourage Amanda Daniels 12 episodes
2010 Californication Abby 10 episodes
2011 Hide Warren Movie
2012 Justified Karen Goodall Episode: "Cut Ties"
2012 Political Animals Susan Berg Miniseries; main role
2012 New Girl[12] Emma 3 episodes
2013 Doubt Linda Pilot
2015–2016 Wayward Pines Kate Hewson Main role in Season 1 (11 episodes)
2015 The Brink Joanne "Jo" Larson 6 episodes
2016 Supergirl Kelor (voice) Episode: "Solitude"; uncredited
2016 Roadies Shelli Main role (10 episodes)
2017 Nashville Virginia Wyatt Episode: "If Tomorrow Never Comes"
2018 Robot Chicken Joyce Byers / Meg Altman Voice role; episode: "Mr. Mozzarella's Hamburger Skateboard Depot"
2018 The Haunting of Hill House Olivia Crain Main role
2019 Jett Daisy ”Jett” Kowalski Main role


In 2009, Gugino was honored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). During the Foundation's 34th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., she received NIAF's Special Achievement Award for Entertainment, presented by her close friend, actress Connie Britton.[13]

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense Snake Eyes Nominated
2005 Golden Schmoes Award Best T&A of the Year Sin City Nominated
2006 Gold Derby Award Ensemble Cast (with cast) Sin City Nominated
2007 Capri-Hollywood Film Festival Award Capri Italian-American Award N/A Won
2007 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Entourage Nominated
2008 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award Most Egregious Age Difference Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest (shared with Robert De Niro) Righteous Kill Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture American Gangster Nominated
2009 Scream Award Best Supporting Actress Watchmen Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actress – Action Faster Nominated
2015 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award Best Actress Tell-Tale Nominated
2017 Fright Meter Award Best Actress Gerald's Game Won
2019 Saturn Awards Best Actress in a Streaming Presentation The Haunting of Hill House Nominated


  1. "Star of the Day – Carla Gugino" Archived October 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine The Internet Movie Database; Accessed October 12, 2010
  2. Webb Mitovich, Matt. "Threshold Plan Is a Success for Gugino"; October 21, 2005
  3. Deggans, Eric. "Floridian: Take 2, 'Karen Sisco'" Saint Petersburg Times; September 22, 2003
  4. Landua, Peter. "A Woman We Love: Carla Gugino" Esquire; December 31, 2003
  5. Brantley, Ben (November 16, 2006). "Another Magnolia Blossom at Risk". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  6. Hochman, David. "Agent Provocative: Carla Gugino Teases HBO's Entourage"; April 6, 2007
  7. "Stars line up for naked spread"; April 24, 2007
  8. Isherwood, Charles. "A New Look at an Old Farm Threatened by Heat" The New York Times; February 4, 2009
  9. Kit, Borys. "'Watchmen' adds Gugino as do-gooder" The Hollywood Reporter; August 9, 2007,
  10. Outer Critics Circle Awards Archive 2008–2009 Archived January 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine; Accessed January 20, 2012
  11. Mitchell, Maurice. "Every Hidden Easter Egg in MAN OF STEEL – UPDATED [List]". Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  12. "'New Girl' season 2 : Carla Gugino". TVLine. November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  13. NIAF 34th Anniversary Gala Review Archived November 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine; October 28, 2009; Accessed January 20, 2012.
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