Daphne Zuniga

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Daphne Zuniga
Daphne Zuniga.jpg
Daphne Zuniga at the Sundance Film Festival, in January 2007.
BornDaphne Eurydice Zuniga
(1962-10-28) October 28, 1962 (age 52)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Years active1982-present
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Daphne Zuniga
Daphne Zuniga.jpg
Daphne Zuniga at the Sundance Film Festival, in January 2007.
BornDaphne Eurydice Zuniga
(1962-10-28) October 28, 1962 (age 52)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Years active1982-present

Daphne Eurydice Zuniga (born October 28, 1962) is an American actress known for her roles as Jo Reynolds on the Fox prime time soap opera Melrose Place, as Victoria Davis on The CW teen drama One Tree Hill, and as Princess Vespa in the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs.

Early life[edit]

Zuniga was born in Berkeley, California. Her father, Joaquin Alberto Zuniga Mazariegos, originally from Guatemala,[1] was an emeritus professor of philosophy at California State University, East Bay.[2][3] Her mother, Agnes A. (Janawicz), is a Unitarian minister, of Polish and Finnish descent.[4] Zuniga became interested in acting in high school, performing in a variety of school plays. In her early teens she attended the Young Conservatory program of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) of San Francisco. After her parents divorced, Zuniga moved with her mother and sister from Berkeley to Reading, Vermont. She graduated from Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1980. After high school she studied Theater Arts at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).



Zuniga is best known for playing Jo Reynolds in the 1990s television series Melrose Place. Her television career began nearly ten years earlier when she appeared in several episodes of Family Ties (1984) as a girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton. She also co-starred with Lucille Ball in the drama Stone Pillow in 1985 and was in the 1995 miniseries Degree of Guilt.[5] She was one of many voice actors for the animated television series Stories from My Childhood (1998). Zuniga had a lead role in the mini-series Pandora's Clock (1996).

In 2004-2005, Zuniga appeared in a recurring role in American Dreams.[6] She was on the show Beautiful People on ABC Family in 2005-2006. In 2007, she starred in the fifth season premiere of the drama Nip/Tuck.

She starred in several made for television movies including Secret Lives (2005), The Obsession (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006), Mail Order Bride (2008) and On Strike for Christmas (2010).[7]

Zuniga reprised her role as Princess Vespa from the 1987 film Spaceballs, by voice-over in the television spin-off Spaceballs: The Animated Series. She also reprised her role from Melrose Place in an updated version, but it was short-lived as the series was cancelled after just one season in 2009-10.

2007-2012, Zuniga has appeared in the CW network series One Tree Hill. She played the cold-hearted mother Victoria Davis.

2015, she joins the cast of the new tv series Hindsight.


Zuniga's film work has continued in parallel with her television work throughout much of her career. Her first two movies were sorority slasher films The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1981) and The Initiation (1983, with Hunter Tylo), followed by Vision Quest (1985). In 1985, she starred opposite John Cusack in The Sure Thing. She next starred in the 1986 cult film Modern Girls. She was a lead in the 1987 Mel Brooks film Spaceballs, the 1988 film Last Rites, the 1989 films Gross Anatomy (with Matthew Modine), and The Fly II (with Eric Stoltz) and Staying Together (with Sean Astin). She starred in Artificial Lies (2000), Enemies of Laughter (2000), Dog Gone (2003), A-List (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006) and Seducing Charlie Barker (2010), directed by Amy Glazer and she starred in A Family Thankgving with Faye Dunaway. Most recently, Beyond Paradise (2013), Gone Missing (2013), Monkey in the Middle (2014), Who's Driving Doug (2014) and Search Engines (2015).

Other media[edit]

In 1994, Zuniga appeared in the release of a video for Bob Seger's previously released 1976 hit "Night Moves". In the video version of the song, she and a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc are shown in a 1960s drive-in theater, where Zuniga as a dark, edgy young woman becomes a visual fascination for LeBlanc as a clean-cut young man.

She co-produced and co-directed (with Steven Latham) the 2007 documentary "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED" - a look at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference held in Monterey, California.

In February and March 2008, Zuniga appeared onstage in a production of The Scene by Theresa Rebeck, at the San Francisco Playhouse.[8]

She's starred in the scripted web series Novel Adventures, which premiered November 3, 2008 from CBS Interactive.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Her younger sister Jennifer Zuniga is also an actress, debuting in the 1992 film A Woman, Her Men, and Her Futon.

In 2004, Zuniga suffered from mercury poisoning, which she attributed to overconsumption of fish. She said she had eaten sushi four times in the week prior to being taken to the emergency room and that her symptoms included weak memory, headaches, crying spells, skin rashes and mild depression.[11] After her diagnosis, Zuniga stopped consuming fish.

Zuniga has supported several environmental campaigns. In 2009, she was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, a not-for-profit development corporation charged with catalyzing sustainable development along the Los Angeles River.[12]


1982Dorm That Dripped Blood, TheThe Dorm That Dripped BloodDebbie
1983Quarterback PrincessKim MaidaTV movie
1984Family TiesRachel MillerEpisode: "Double Date"
Episode: "The Graduate"
1984Initiation, TheThe InitiationKelly (Terry)
1985Vision QuestMargie Epstein
1985Sure Thing, TheThe Sure ThingAlison Bradbury
1985Stone PillowCarrie LangTV movie
1986Modern GirlsMargo
1987SpaceballsPrincess Vespa
1988Last RitesAngela
1989Fly II, TheThe Fly IIBeth
1989Staying TogetherBeverly Young
1989Gross AnatomyLaurie Rorbach
1989Nightmare ClassicsIrene MarloweEpisode: "The Eyes of the Panther"
1992Mad at the MoonYoung Mrs. Miller
1992Prey of the ChameleonPatricia / Elizabeth Burrows
1992–1996Melrose PlaceJo Reynolds110 episodes
1993Eight Hundred Leagues Down the AmazonMinha
1993Hidden Room, TheThe Hidden RoomElizabeth MahernEpisode: "The Faithful Follower"
1994Charlie's Ghost StoryRonda
1994Cityscrapes: Los AngelesChantal
1994Models Inc.Jo ReynoldsEpisode: "Pilot"
1995Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildCinderella (voice)Episode: "Cinderella"
1995Degree of GuiltTeresa 'Terri' PeraltaTV movie
1996Pandora's ClockDr. Roni SandersTV movie
1997Loss of FaithClaire HaineyTV movie
1997Naked in the Cold SunRini
1997Johnny BravoGabrielle (voice)Episode: "I Used to Be Funny/My Fair Dork/'Twas the Night"
1997Dead Man's GunLillian / TanyaEpisode: "Black Widow"
1997Spin CityCarrieEpisode: "Hot in the City"
1998Spin CityCarrieEpisode: "It Happened One Night"
1998Stories from My ChildhoodEpisode: "Ivan and His Magic Pony"
1999The Outer LimitsJuliette KaganEpisode: "Essence of Life"
1999Batman BeyondLula (voice)Episode: "Once Burned"
2000Batman BeyondApril (voice)Episode: "April Moon"
2000Artificial LiesKaren Wettering
2000Stark Raving MadDr. Anne RussoEpisode: "Therapy"
2000Enemies of LaughterJudy
2003Ghost Dog: A Detective TailAmanda MortonTV movie
2003Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEmma DishellEpisode: "Abomination"
2003EveMrs. KingEpisode: "Twas the Fight Before Christmas"
2004–2005American DreamsShelly Pierce14 episodes
2005Secret LivesJill Thompson
2005–2006Beautiful PeopleLynn Kerr16 episodes
2006Obsession, TheThe ObsessionDeborah MatthewsTV movie
2006Christmas Do-OverJillTV movie
2007Nip/TuckCarly SummersEpisode: "Carly Summers"
2007–2009Spaceballs: The Animated SeriesPrincess Vespa (voice)12 episodes
2008Mail Order BrideDiana McQueen
2008Novel AdventuresLaura French8 episodes
2008–2012One Tree HillVictoria Davis42 episodes
2009Melrose PlaceJo ReynoldsEpisode: "Windsor"
2010Melrose PlaceJo ReynoldsEpisode: "Santa Fe"
2010Seducing Charlie BarkerStella
2010Family Thanksgiving, AA Family ThanksgivingClaudiaTV movie
2010On Strike for ChristmasJoy RobertsonTV movie
2012Changing HeartsChristina Riley
2013Gone MissingRene
2013A Remarkable LifeTracy
2013Signed, Sealed, Delivered (TV movie)Andrea Shmeckle
2013Beyond ParadiseElana
2014Monkey in the MiddleOlive
2014Who's Driving DougAlison
2015Search Engines
2015Hindsight (TV series)


  1. ^ "Daphne Zuniga displays snob appeal in `Spaceballs'". Chicago Sun-Times. June 28, 1987. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Emeritus Professors", Department of Philosophy, California State University, East Bay, website
  3. ^ "Who's who Among Hispanic Americans - Google Books". Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Daphne Zuniga Biography (1962?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  5. ^ HER STRENGTH HITS NEW 'DEGREE, October 29, 1995, Daily News of Los Angeles
  6. ^ Jay Bobbin, "Daphne Zuniga Has 'American Dreams'", October 3, 2004, Zap2It.com News
  7. ^ "Mail Order Bride". Metacafe.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  8. ^ Tristan Fuge, "Daphne Zuniga to Star in San Francisco Playhouse's The Scene", Theatre Mania, January 4, 2008
  9. ^ "Novel Adventures". Noveladventures.cbs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. [dead link]
  10. ^ Insider: biography of her character, Laura
  11. ^ Liz Borod Wright, "Actress Describes Mercury Poisoning Ordeal: Daphne Zuniga Was Eating a High Seafood Diet, ABC News, October 21, 2005
  12. ^ "LA River Revitalization Corporation, The Board". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 

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