Marlene Forté is an actress, director and producer. Born in Cuba, she is a founding member of LAByrinth Theater Company in NYC where she started her acting career in the early 1990s.
Since moving to Los Angeles 13 years ago, she has appeared in many TV recurring roles, include “The House of Payne” and, most recently, “The Secret Life of The American Teenager.” Other television credits include “Eastbound and Down,” “Community,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Mentalist” and “Castle,” to name a few.
On film she was first known for the lead role in the independent movie Lena’s Dreams, which she co-produced. She has appeared on many independent movies throughout her career. In 2008 she received an Imagen Foundation Award nomination for her role in the Lifetime movie “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story.” Other film credits include the chief transporter in the 2009 Star Trek reboot and Mrs. Glass in Real Women Have Curves. This autumn, you can catch her on Marlon Wayans’ film spoof of Paranormal Activity (and similar films) called Haunted House and the romantic comedy My Last Day Without You. She also just wrapped Catherine Hardwick’s erotic thriller Plush.
On stage she has worked with the best— Luis Alfaro, Oliver Mayer and Jon Lawrence Rivera. She was the Co-Artistic Director of Company of Angels (CoA) for a two-year term. In that time, she directed a couple of plays ( Ballad for Sad Young Men and Fabric), which won several commendations from the city of Los Angeles.
She most recently played Carmen Ramos, longtime Ewing family housekeeper and mother to Elena (played by Jordana Brewster) on TNT’s revamped “Dallas.” Her younger sister is television journalist Lesley Ann Machado. Her daughter is actress Giselle Rodríguez. She is married to playwright and USC tenured professor Oliver Mayer. This fall, she can be seen in a recurring role as Elena on the ABC Family program “The Fosters”.