Ever since astounding audiences and critics with her breakthrough performance in David Lynch’s award winning Mulholland Drive for which she received an Alma Award, Laura Harring has been one of Hollywood’s most versatile stars. The International Herald Tribune compared Laura to Ava Gardner, and film critic Roger Ebert likened her to Rita Hayworth.
Laura got her first taste as an actor at the age of five, after playing an angel in the Christmas play The Nativity Story. As a teenager, she drew inspiration for the pursuit of excellence from her grandfather Isauro Martinez Cairo, a world class athlete who in 1954 became the National Champion in Fencing and Equestrian for Mexico.
During her teen years, Laura studied abroad at the prestigious boarding school Aiglon College in Switzerland where she graduated with an Academic Diploma. It was here that Laura met her future husband of two years, Count Carl von Bismarck, making her Contessa von Bismarck. After graduating from boarding school, she traveled the world and spent time as a social worker in India, performing manual labor, to fix the soil erosion problem that hit the foothills of the Himalayas. Upon returning, Laura became the first Latina to win the Miss USA title and after being cast opposite Raul Julia in The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory, her passion was sparked and Laura went on to become classically trained, at The London Academy of Performing Arts, in which she relished playing Shakespeare.
Laura played opposite Denzel Washington in John Q, and went on to work opposite John Travolta in The Punisher, then with William Hurt in The King, Emma Roberts in Nancy Drew and finally Javier Bardem in New Line’s Love in the Time of Cholera written by Nobel Prize Winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and directed by Mike Newell. She gained 20 pounds for the role. At her first Oscar appearance, she wore the million dollar shoes designed by Stuart Weitzman, making her the most photographed woman at 2002 Oscars.
Her more recent Television work includes critically acclaimed The Shield, Gossip Girl, and Chasing Life. Her European upbringing and travels made it easy for her to find a niche playing strong, upscale, matriarchal women. Her early social work instilled a strong sense of philanthropy and Laura has worked as a Goodwill Ambassador to the David Lynch Foundation, supported Children Uniting Nations, traveled to Africa with Stop Hunger Now as well as visited more than 100 nursing homes and hospitals in personal appearances. Her passions include dancing Tango, Salsa, Merengue, some ballroom, and performing Commedia Dell’ Arte in both the talian and French styles. Laura resides in Los Angeles.