Laura Harring first came to widespread public notice via the screens of David Lynch’s hit movie, Mulholland Drive. The film which premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival received highly favorable reviews including being voted The Best Film as well as the Greatest Horror Film of the 21st Century in different polls. Laura Harring starred as Rita Rhodes in the intriguing mystery drama film, a role that earned her an ALMA award. Following her exceptional performance in the film, many have likened Harring to screen legends, Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner. Here is everything you need to know about the star.
Who Is Laura Harring?
Laura Harring is a Mexican-American actress who became the first Hispanic woman to win the Miss Texas and Miss USA crowns. She was born as Laura Elena Martínez Herring on 3rd March 1964. Laura was born in Los Mochis, northern Sinaloa, Mexico to Raymond Herring and María Elena Martínez-Cairo. While her father worked as an organic farmer and developer, her mother was a real estate investor and spiritual tutor. Unfortunately, her parents divorced in 1971 while she was just seven.
Laura Harring grew up in Mexico. At ten, her family moved to the United States, precisely San Antonio, Texas. At 12, Harring survived a head injury resulting from a .45 stray bullet fired by a drive-by shooter. When she clocked 16, Laura left for Switzerland where she studied at the Aiglon College in Swizz Alps.
On completing her education, she returned to the United States where she ventured into beauty contests in El Paso, Texas. In 1985, Laura won the Miss El Paso County title. This qualified her for the state beauty contest which she also won – emerging the 1985 Miss Texas USA. The same year, she went on to win Miss USA. She as well ranked among the Top 10 finalists of Miss Universe. As Miss USA, Harring traveled around Europe and Asia embarking on social projects.
On completing her one-year of social work as Miss U.S.A, Laura enrolled at the London Academy for Performing Arts. She later made her acting debut in the 1987 NBC television film, The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory. NBC film producers discovered her while she was working for Miss USA. In 1989, she made her movie debut in Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! Harring subsequently played her first lead role on The Forbidden Dance (1990).
The next decade saw Laura play only supporting and recurring/minor roles in films and TV series. Notable among the works she appeared in between 1990 and 2000 are General Hospital (1990-1991), Exit to Eden (1994), Flipper (1995-’96), and Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997). She, however, played a regular role on Sunset Beach (1997), an NBC television soap opera.
The 2000s were very lucrative for Laura Harring. In 2001, she played the starring role of Rita/Camilla Rhodes in David Lynch’s mystery film, Mulholland Drive. The role which remains Laura’s most popular earned her an Outstanding Actress award from the American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) in 2002. She then co-starred in the lead with Jean-Claude Van Damme on Derailed (2002). She also starred as Cathryn on Willard (2002).
The following years saw Laura portray major characters on Mi Casa, Su Casa (2003), The Punisher (2004), and The King (2005), Ghost Son (2007), Return To Babylon (2013), and Sex Ed (2013), alongside several other films wherein she played minor roles. She also played recurring roles on a number of TV series such as The Shield (2006), and Gossip Girl (2009-2010).
In addition to acting, Laura Harring is also a professional dancer, specializing in Latin dances, Argentine tango, and Commedia Dell’ Arte. It was her dancing skills that inspired her role on The Forbidden Dance.
Laura Harring’s Marital Life
Laura tied the knot with Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen, a German royal and politician in 1987. Their marriage was, however, short-lived as the duo divorced in 1989. Laura’s ex-husband who served as the Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen from 1961 to 2019, became the 5th Prince of Bismarck in 2019 after his father. Notwithstanding their separation, Harring retains the title of Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen which she attained on marrying Carl. The former couple had no kids together.
Following her separation from Carl-Eduard, Harring has never married again, neither has she given birth to any child.
Where Is Laura Harring Now, and What is She Doing?
Laura Harring’s fame appears to be dwindling in recent times, with the list of works she appears in thinning down. Be that as it may, Laura is still active in her acting career. One of her recent works is Inside (2016) wherein she starred alongside Rachel Nichols. Laura also played a major role in the 2016 social science fiction movie, The Thinning and its sequel, The Thinning: New World Order (2018). Moreover, the recurring role she started playing on NCIS: Los Angeles in 2012 also lasted until the end of the series in 2019.
The American actress presently resides in Los Angeles, California.