In the classic 1999 action movie The Mummy, Patricia Velasquez played Anck-su-namun, the doomed wife of the Pharaoh and the ill-fated, star-crossed lover of Imhotep, the Pharaoh’s priest who risks everything for their forbidden love. In the movie, she was fierce, gorgeous, and driven to violent ends by her heart. You likely remember her best covered in golden body paint and looking impossibly fabulous in a metal bikini. And while she went on to appear in the much-loved sequel The Mummy Returns, fans of Anck-su-namun may have trouble imagining Velasquez as anyone other than her iconic Egyptian role. But in fact, she’s had a successful and varied career since the beloved franchise.
People calls Patricia “the first Latina supermodel,” and she has had a successful modeling career for decades now. With regard to her acting career, she has appeared in both television and film, playing varying roles from comedy to horror. Velasquez had roles in popular shows Arrested Development, The L Word, Hawaii Five-O, and American Family, and she appeared in films like Guys Reading Poems and the recent horror flick The Curse of La Llorona. She’s even lent her voice to a video game, giving life to the character Unuratu in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (via IMDb).
Patricia Velasquez is also an activist
Patricia Velasquez has also had a meaningful career in activism and philanthropy. She founded The Wayuu Taya Foundation in 2002, which helps support indigenous communities in Latin America. She has also become a vocal and powerful advocate for her fellow LGBTQ community members: In 2015, she published her autobiography Straight Walk, in which she came out as lesbian. At the time, she told People of her decision, “It’s very difficult to face your past, so I put off doing anything like this for a long time.”
The model/actress, who was 43 at the time of the book’s release, went on to explain, “As my daughter started growing up and I was teaching her to be honest and proud, I knew it was time for me to set an example — and that meant facing my truth. For me, living life with truth and honesty is the one thing I want to make sure she understands.”
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