Wanda De Jesus, born August 26, 1958, is an actress, sister born and raised on “the concrete playgrounds of Manhattan,” in “Little Italy” East Harlem, NY.
Her parents, both first generation emigrants from Puerto Rico. De Jesus went to High School of the Performing Arts Wanda and discovered acting when she was 12.
DeJesus attended City University of New York (CUNY) in the performing arts department program. After graduating from CUNY in 1981, she had taken a year off to sing for a popular New York punk rock band called Coney Island White Fish.
Listed among DeJesus’s stages credits is a supporting role in Cuba and His Teddy Bear, Broadway production that garnered the actress critical attention and heralded the actress critical attention and heralded Robert De Niro’s return to live theater. “[De Niro’s] astounding in that he’s very pure,” she states with apparent awe. “Working with him, something, and you would just put out something, and you would feel it go into a black hole. But then it would come back to you some odd way.”
She is married to actor Jimmy Smits (Victor, LA Law). Their relationship, well- publicized by the scandal sheets, is understandably a subject she’d rather avoid. DeJesus does reveal that the two first met in New York while working on a play in the early 80’s and “maintained a friendship for a long time before becoming involved.”
She is most notably recognized for her role as the fourth actress to portray Santana Andrade in NBC’s soap opera Santa Barbara.
Aside from her work on soap operas, De Jesus appeared in several TV shows in a guest starring role, and she had a recurring role on the CBS crime series CSI: Miami as MDPD Detective Adelle Sevilla. On the week of June 14, 2010, she made her debut on All My Children as Iris Blanco, the mayor of Pine Valley. In 2010, De Jesus was cast as the head of the police squad on Law & Order: Los Angeles, but the role – which had already been changed significantly before De Jesus joined – was changed again and reshot with a different actress after two episodes had been filmed.