Born: 12 July 1978
Birthplace: Bexar County, Texas
Best known as: Star of Girlfight and The Fast and the Furious
Name at birth: Mayte Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez made a splash in her film debut as the angry young boxer in Girlfight. The film was a hit at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, earned her rave reviews and opened doors in Hollywood -- for more tough chick roles. After Girlfight she co-starred with Vin Diesel in the box office hit The Fast and the Furious (2001, with Paul Walker), appeared with Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil (2002) and played opposite Colin Farrell in the cop thriller S.W.A.T. (2003, with Samuel L. Jackson). For the 2005 season of the television series Lost (co-starring Evangeline Lilly) Rodriguez played the character of Ana Lucia Cortez. During the filming of the show in Hawaii, Rodriguez made the news when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Sentenced to five days in jail, she served the bulk of her sentence in April 2006; the next month, because she was already on parole in Los Angeles for a 2004 hit-and-run incident, she was sentenced to 60 days in the Los Angeles County jail. She teamed up again with Diesel and Walker in the 2009 sequel Fast & Furious.
Extra credit: Because of jail overcrowding, Rodriguez was released after four hours of her 2006 sentence. In December of 2007 she began a six-month jail term for violating the terms of her probation, including consumption of alcohol and failure to perform community service.
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