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Daphne Zuniga

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Basic Information

Daphne Zuniga

Date of Birth: 28 October 1962
Place of Birth: Berkeley, California, USA
Birth Name: Daphne Eurydice Zuniga
Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)


Daphne Eurydice Zuniga (born October 28, 1962) is an American actress best known for her role as Jo Reynolds on the Fox primetime soap Melrose Place, as Victoria Davis on The CW teen drama One Tree Hill and as Princess Vespa in Spaceballs.

Early life

Zuniga was born in Berkeley, California. Her father is an emeritus professor of philosophy originally from Guatemala and her mother is a Unitarian minister of Polish and Finnish descent. Zuniga became interested in acting in high school, performing in a variety of school plays. She attended the Young Conservatory of ACT (American Conservatory Theater) of San Francisco in her early teens. Zuniga, her mother, and her sister moved from Berkeley to Reading, Vermont after her parents divorced. Zuniga graduated from Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1980. After graduating from high school she became a Theater Arts major at University of California at Los Angeles.



Zuniga is best known for playing Jo Reynolds in the 1990s TV series Melrose Place. However, her television career began nearly ten years earlier when she appeared in several episodes of Family Ties (1982-84) as a girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton. She also co-starred with Lucille Ball in the TV drama Stone Pillow in 1985 and was in the 1985 television miniseries Degrees of Guilt. She was also one of many voice actors for the animated television series Stories from My Childhood (1998). Zuniga also had a lead role in the TV mini-series Pandora's Clock (1996).

In 2004-2005, Zuniga also appeared in a recurring role in American Dreams. She was on the show Beautiful People on ABC Family in 2005-2006. In 2007, she starred in the fifth season premiere of the dramatic series Nip/Tuck.

She also starred in several made for television movies including Secret Lives (2005), The Obsession (2006), and Christmas Do-Over (2006). Most recently, Zuniga starred in the made for television movie Mail Order Bride which premiered on November 8, 2008 on the Hallmark Channel.

Since 2007, Daphne Zuniga is on the CW hit show One Tree Hill. She plays the cold-hearted mother Victoria Davis. Also, she is currently reprising the role as the voice of Princess Vespa in the animated spin-off of the 1987 cult classic Spaceballs called Spaceballs: The Animated Series.

On June 17, 2009, it was reported that Zuniga will reprise the role she originated on in Melrose Place, in the fall.


Her film career has continued in parallel with her television work throughout much of her career, though her film work has been less prolific. Her first two movies were sorority slasher films The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1981) and The Initiation (1983) with Hunter Tylo, followed by Vision Quest (1985). In 1985, she starred opposite John Cusack in The Sure Thing. She next starred in the 1986 cult film Modern Girls. She was also a lead in the 1987 film Spaceballs, the 1988 film Last Rites, the 1989 films Gross Anatomy (with Matthew Modine), and The Fly II (with Eric Stoltz) and Staying Together (film) (with Sean Astin). She also starring in Artificial Lies (2000), Enemies of Laughter (2000), Dog Gone (2003), A-List (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006) and The Scene (2009), directed by Amy Glazer. She also provided the voice of the titular character in the English language version of the 1977 Russian animated film, The Magic Pony.

Other media

She was a guest celebrity in the 1996 Endymion parade during Mardi Gras.

She is co-producer and co-director (with Steven Latham) of the recently released (DVD, Netflix, 2007) documentary "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED" - a look at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference held in Monterey, California.

In February and March 2008, Zuniga appeared onstage in a production of The Scene by Theresa Rebeck, at the San Francisco Playhouse.

She currently stars in Novel Adventures, which premiered November 3, 2008 on CBS.

Personal life

Her younger sister Jennifer Zuniga is also an actress, debuting in the 1992 film A Woman, Her Men and Her Futon.

Until about 2002, Zuniga rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle in her spare time. She has been quoted as having sold it a "few years ago." She was also said to have allowed the piercing through her navel to heal, attributing both those events in her life to "latent adolescence." Zuniga has also devoted her time to environmental campaigns.

In 2004, Zuniga was the victim of mercury poisoning, the direct result of an overconsumption of fish; she admitted to eating sushi four times a week prior to her mercury poisoning diagnosis. As a result, she suffered from weak memory, headaches, crying spells, skin rashes and low grade depression. After her diagnosis, Zuniga stopped consuming fish and began to drink shakes rich in protein (specifically with glutathione) to cleanse her body of the mercury.

In 2009 Zuniga was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, a non-for-profit development corporation charged with catalyzing sustainable development along the Los Angeles River.


  • Rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle in her spare time.
  • Her father is Guatemalan.
  • Has a body piercing through her navel.
  • Graduated from Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, VT in 1980.
  • She was a guest celebrity in the 1996 Endymion parade during Mardi Gras.
  • Measurements: 34B-25-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Shared an L.A. house with Meg Ryan when both were struggling actresses
  • Won an LA Weekly Award for best ensemble for Circus Theatricals production of Tartuffe.
  • Her father is a philosophy professor and her mother is a Unitarian minister.
  • Sister of Jennifer Zuniga
  • Attended, but did not graduate from UCLA.
  • When she isn't acting she works for such causes as cleaning up toxic waste and counseling high school kids against the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
  • Daphne was a founding board member of Earth Communications Office (ECO), an organization that harnesses the power of the environmental movement and the entertainment community. She is devoted to the conservation of our planet and "mercury awareness", having written articles for Oprah Winfrey's O magazine.
  • She enjoys meditation and is a supporter of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, and Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts.