||Eva La Rue
|Date of Birth
||27 December 1966
|Place of Birth
||Long Beach, California
Having gained serial immortality on the small screen as the long-suffering Dr. Maria Santos Grey on the popular daytime soap, “All My Children” (AMC, 1970- ) charming actress Eva LaRue made the rare, successful leap to primetime, starring as Natalia Boa Vista on “CSI: Miami” (CBS, 2002- ).
Born just two days after Christmas in 1966, Eva Maria LaRuy (later LaRue) was born and raised in Southern California. The oldest of three children, LaRue’s exotic beauty and vaguely indeterminate ethnicity were the result of a potpourri mixture of Puerto Rican, Dutch, Scottish, and French ancestry. LaRue began her acting career at the tender age of six, appearing in commercials. After graduating from Norco Senior High School in 1985, LaRue began modeling. Appearing in a number of print ads and catalogs, LaRue’s sultry good looks and curvaceous figure – to say nothing of her effervescent smile – eventually landed her a contract with the famed lingerie label, Frederick’s of Hollywood.
Wishing to branch out into acting like all good actors, LaRue began auditioning for soap operas in the early 1990’s. Her big break came in 1993 when she was cast in the role of resident good girl, Dr. Maria Santos Grey, on the long-running daytime soap “All My Children.” Though LaRue’s character was originally not intended for a long stay in Pine Valley, her performance won over scores of fans and quickly made her one of the most popular regulars on the show.
Over the next five years, LaRue’s character, Maria, became the show’s quintessential heroine; experiencing passionate romance, countless tragedies, and various affairs of the heart –sometimes all within the same week. LaRue’s knack for portraying saint-like fortitude in the face of such perpetual adversities as infertility, infidelity, amnesia, and even a “fatal” plane crash (which she ended up surviving) did not go unnoticed. As reward, in 1997, LaRue was nominated for her first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Though she wound up losing to fellow nominee Jaclyn Zeman of “General Hospital” (ABC, 1963- ), LaRue succeeded in officially earning respect from both her colleagues from that moment on
During her tenure on “All My Children,” LaRue formed close relationships with a number of her castmates. Among the more notable was one with a novice actress named Sarah Michelle Gellar, who would later go on to stardom as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (WB/UPN, 1997-2003). Cast in the role of ingénue, Kendall Kane, Gellar was reportedly tempted to quit “All My Children” after her first year – rumored in part to off-screen tensions with the show’s star, legendary soap diva, Susan Lucci. Years later, at the height of her “Buffy” fame, Gellar credited LaRue’s early friendship and support as a key factor in ultimately deciding to stick it out on the soap. Ironically, it was LaRue’s close relationship with another fellow cast member, John Callahan, that drew her the most publicity – and not all of it good, either.
In 1994, LaRue, who was married at the time to actor John O’Hurley – best known to audiences as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld” (NBC, 1990-98) and more recently, as a contestant on the reality series “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 2005- ) – fell head over heels for her co-star John Callahan, who played Edmund Grey. The fact that Callahan played LaRue’s husband on-screen only helped their on-set love to blossom, which – hardly a surprise – did no favors for LaRue’s real life marriage to O’Hurley. As a result, the couple divorced later that year. Free of her marriage, LaRue and Callahan got hitched themselves on the Hawaiian island of Lania in November of 1996. They have since divorced, but for their time together, LaRue changed her working name to Eva LaRue Callahan.
Despite the lack of success in her dramatic personal life, LaRue’s professional career was luckily not negatively affected. Ringing in the new millennium, LaRue began making the gradual transition out of daytime, guest hosting awards shows and appearing in small made-for-TV movies and on numerous TV series, including recurring roles on “Third Watch” (NBC, 1999-2005), “Soul Food” (Showtime, 2000-04) and “George Lopez” (ABC, 2002- ). Her strategy of hard working guest actor with charisma to spare, ended up paying off, when in the fall of 2005, LaRue was asked to join the cast of “CSI: Miami” (CBS, 2002- ) as sexy DNA analyst, Natalia Boa Vista. Only a recurring character up to that point, Boa Vista was officially promoted to series regular status in the opening of the fifth season of the successful franchise spin-off, starring David Caruso.