Saundra Santiago

Saundra Santiago

Saundra Santiago (born April 13, 1957 in The Bronx, New York) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Detective Gina Calabrese on the hit 1980s television show "Miami Vice". She spent 3 years playing the role of crime boss Carmen Santos on the long-running soap opera, "Guiding Light". Coincidentally, she appeared simultaneously in a recurring role on "The Sopranos" as Tony Soprano's next door neighbor, Jeannie Cusamano, and as her twin sister, Joan. Saundra also did a short-term role on the ABC soap opera, "One Life to Live" after leaving "Guiding Light." She was a guest star on "Law and Order" in 2004 in an episode called Veteran's Day and in 1992 in Prince of Darkness.

Early life

The daughter of Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, Santiago's family moved from the Bronx to Homestead, Florida when she was 13.

University of Miami

She attended the University of Miami on a scholarship, majoring in psychology. As a University of Miami student, she became enamoured with acting. After graduation, she went on to post-graduate study in theater and arts at Southern Methodist University, eventually earning a master's degree.


Santiago's soap opera connections pre-date her role on "Guiding Light". At the height of "Miami Vice's" popularity in 1985, she reprised her role on an episode of NBC's "Days of Our Lives", which was airing a storyline set in Miami at the time.

External links


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