Thursday June 6 11a/10c
Ivonne Coll

Ivonne Coll

Grandma Rivera

Ivonne Coll is an award-winning actress in theater, television and film. Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico where she trained in classical ballet and flamenco dance as a child with Walter Mercado. This marked her artistic debut at age six with Mercado’s Baby Ballet company for the American soldiers in the Ramey Naval Base in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

Coll’s first film was The Godfather Part II. Director Francis Ford Coppola was looking for a night club act for the film while looking for locations in Puerto Rico. After meeting Coll he decided to create the role of the red-headed Yolanda so she could have her first film credit.

In the 1960s, while she was a psychology student at The University of Puerto Rico, Coll was working part time as a haute couture runway fashion model for top designers on the island, such as Carlota Alfaro, Fernando Martin, Rafael Mojena and Fernando Pena. In 1967, she won the title of Miss Puerto Rico to represent the island in the Miss Universe pageant.

The early 1970s were the beginning of her singing and dancing career, during which time she performed at such iconic venues as The Ocho Puertas and the Puerto Rico Sheraton, among others. In 1972, she became the first Puerto Rican singer to perform in Vietnam as part of the USO Tour Puerto Rico Sings.

From 1972 to 1974 she starred in “Una Chica Llamada Ivonne Coll” (“A Girl Named Ivonne Coll”), a one-hour variety show produced by Telecadena Perez-Perry on Channel 11, in which she hosted stars such as Celia Cruz, Armando Manzanero and Mauricio Garces, to name just a few.

In 1975, Coll relocated to Los Angeles to study at The Academy of Stage and Cinema Arts with David Alexander and Bob Ellenstein. She also trained in musical theater with David Craig and in comedy with the legendary Lucille Ball. Coll moved to New York City to continue her training at HB Studio, with Lee Strasberg and as a working observer at The Actors Studio.

In 1980, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater gave Coll her first union job. That same year, she made her Broadway debut with the play Goodbye Fidel starring Jane Alexander.

In 1987, Coll starred in “Cuqui: Una mujer como tú,” a half-hour sitcom produced by WAPA-TV in Puerto Rico. She was flown weekly from New York City to Puerto Rico to be on set.

Coll was a member of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival players performing at the Public Theater, Shakespeare in the Park and The Belasco Theater on Broadway. Her roles included Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Rosalind in As You Like It and the nurse in Romeo & Juliet, directed by Estelle Parsons. Also on Broadway, Coll was in the Tony Award-nominated musical Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Based on the novella by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, it was produced by The Lincoln Center and directed by Graciela Daniele.

Regional theater performances include playing the title role in Mother Courage at Berkley Repertory Theater and La Jolla Playhouse, as well as productions at venues such as Chicago’s Goodman Theater, Princeton’s McCarter Theater, Mark Taper Forum, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and San Jose Repertory Theater. In 2018, Coll played the lead role in The Madres by Stephanie Alison Walker at Teatro Vista in Chicago.

Awards received include The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Lifetime Achievement Award; Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Eternity Award; Latin ACE Award for Best Actress in Orinoco; Puerto Rico International Short Film Festival Best Actress for De pura cepa; Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Performance – San Diego Theatre Critics Circle for Adoration of the Old Woman; and Agueybana de Oro for Best Supporting Actress in Coralito.

Award nominations include Jeff Award Actors Equity Association for Best Supporting Actress in Electricidad, and Best Actress in Mother Courage by the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle.

Coll’s film credits include The Godfather II, Lean on Me, Instinct, La gran fiesta, Counterpunch, The Apostate, Death in Granada, In Too Deep, Endgame, The Pest and Waking the Dead, among many others.

She also had leading roles in the short subject films leading A Rainy Day (Universal) and From Now On (True Form Film). The latter won the award for Best Overall Romance Story at the Rincon International Film Festival and marked Coll’s debut as a director, writer and producer.

Coll is well known for her role in The CW’s People’s Choice Award-winning series, “Jane the Virgin.” Additional television credits include “Switched at Birth,” “Teen Wolf,” “Glee,” “East Los High,” “Nip/Tuck,” “An American Family,” “Six Feet Under,” “NYPD Blue,” “The Practice,” “ER,” “Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Judging Amy,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Cold Case,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “L.A. Law,” “Wings,” “Without a Trace,” “CSI” and, more recently, “One Day at a Time” and “Better Things.” (FX.)

Animation work includes lending her voice talent to “Elena of Avalor” for Disney Channel, “Fancy Nancy” for Disney Junior and “The Fungies” for HBO Max.

Love in the Limelight cast