• Date of Birth: August 29, 1971 in Sarasota, Florida
  • Height: 5’5″
  • Star Sign: Virgo
  • Best Known for: Spy Kids, The Haunting of Hill House and Jett

Brief Bio:

Gugino was born in Sarasota, Florida, to Carl Gugino, an orthodontist of Italian descent, and a mother of English-Irish descent described as “Bohemian”. Her parents separated when she was two, after which she traveled between her father and half-brother Carl Jr.’s home in Sarasota, and her Paradise, California, home, to which her mother moved her when she was four.

She has said of her upbringing, “I lived in a tepee in Northern California and a van in Big Sur. With my dad, I lived in a beautiful house with a swimming pool and a tennis court and went to Europe for the summers. So I feel like I lived two childhoods.” She worked as a teenage fashion model and took acting classes at the suggestion of her aunt, former Let’s Make a Deal spokesmodel Carol Merrill. She eventually came to support herself, and with her parents’ support, was legally emancipated by the time she was 16.


Carla has been nominated for various roles throughout her career and has one a few, below is a list of all the awards that Miss Gugino has been nominated and won.

Year Award Category Work Status
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Award< Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense Snake Eyes Nominated
2005 Golden Schmoes Award Best T&A of the Year Nominated
2006 Gold Derby Award Ensemble Cast (with cast) Nominated
2007 Capri-Hollywood Film Festival Award Capri Italian-American Award N/A Won
2007 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Entourage Nominated
2008 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award Most Egregious Age Difference Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest (shared with Robert De Niro) Righteous Kill Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture American Gangster Nominated
2009 Scream Award Best Supporting Actress Watchmen Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actress – Action Faster Nominated
2015 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award Best Actress Tell-Tale Nominated
2017 Fright Meter Award Best Actress Gerald’s Game Won
2019 Saturn Awards Best Actress in a Streaming Presentation The Haunting of Hill House Nominated


  • Has a long scar on her left side (towards her back) from a a Kidney operation when she was 4 years old.
  • Niece of actress Carol Merrill (Carol was married to Carla’s uncle, Mark Burgess). Carol’s daughter is actress Hillary Safire.
  • Modeled for the prestigious Elite agency as a teenager but was considered too short for fashion runway work.
  • Has a butterfly tattoo on the inside of her left ankle.
  • Her father was of Italian descent. Her mother’s ancestry is English and Irish.
  • Was her high school’s valedictorian.
  • Boyfriend is writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez, with whom she has worked on her TV series Karen Sisco (2003) and Rise: Blood Hunter (2007).
  • She turned down the role of Vin Diesel’s love interest in the box-office hit The Pacifier (2005) to take a small but unforgettably sexy role in Sin City (2005) because she had enjoyed working with director Robert Rodriguez in the three “Spy Kids” films.
  • Cousin of Hillary Safire.
  • Is only seven years older than Malin Akerman, who played her daughter in Watchmen (2009).
  • Starred in two films in March 2009 that were back to back openings and USA box office kings. Watchmen (2009) opened March 6th, 2009, and was the number one film of the weekend. Race to Witch Mountain (2009) opened March 13th, 2009, and was the number one film of that weekend.
  • Featured in the 1994 Bon Jovi music video, “Always”, alongside Jack Noseworthy, Jason Wiles and Keri Russell.
  • Good friends with Elizabeth Berkley.
  • The fictional date of August 29, 1997 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) occurred on her 26th birthday.

Personal Quotes

  • It’s not often that the idea of continuing something for a potentially long period of time sounds exciting to me, because I really am a gypsy by nature.
  • I like being the lead but I like being in an ensemble. There are different challenges and dilemmas with both. If you’re carrying a film, there’s a certain weight, but there are a lot of scenes to explore the character. When you’re in an ensemble, you have to convey the entire character in a limited number of scenes.
  • I’m a sensualist. My two main indulgences are dark chocolate and massages.
  • When my friends have a health concern, they call me. I’ve always been a vitamin taker. I also take digestive enzymes and antioxidants, and supplements that help with the thyroid and adrenals for my time-zone changes.
  • When a sports movie really works, it gets you on all levels, because the stakes are high. It’s black and white. It’s win or lose.
  • Personally, just as an actor, I love accents; they’re fun.
  • Unfortunately, ‘chick flick’ has become a term to describe most movies that I don’t even like. They’re these movies that, yes, have women in them but they really don’t reflect who women are, and there’s something kind of silly or shallow or gossipy about them.
  • As an actor, you’re naked emotionally; you’re revealing yourself emotionally.
  • I feel like I’m the only person – or woman, at least – who hasn’t read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’
  • Well, first of all, I’m an incredibly gullible person – I’m so bad that when I said that to someone, my friend said, ‘You know, ‘gullible’ isn’t even in the dictionary.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ As I was saying ‘Really?’ I will acknowledge that I then realized what was happening, but that’s how bad I am.
  • I generally make a sort of playlist for my iPod for whatever project I’m doing.
  • For me, I never, never, from the moment I started acting, had a desire to be famous.
  • I kind of knew it wasn’t going to be until my 30s that I really hit my stride as an actor.
  • I always feel like I want to work with people who raise my game, and I can do the same for them, and we can jump off the cliff together.
  • I always had challenges when I was younger, because I looked so young but sounded older.
  • I think I’m always trying to subvert conventions, and sometimes it’s more successful than others.
  • I’ll always take an artistic endeavor over a career move.
  • I love doing serious movies for adults.
  • I think you always have to go as an artist with instinct, I really do.
  • I’m a huge Wong Kar-Wai fan.
  • I’ve joked that I would have either become schizophrenic or an actress, but as an actress you can do both.
  • My father and my mother separated when I was two..
  • My favorite thing is to have a big dinner with friends and talk about life.
  • It is odd there are many movies with many men. But generally movies have one woman, or maybe the older woman and the younger girl.
  • I’m fiercely protective of my privacy.
  • My tendency as an actor is, when there’s a certain energy, I feel a challenge to match it, to come up to that plate and play on the same level.
  • One of the most important things for an actor is to observe humanity.
  • Sexuality is one of the biggest parts of who we are.
  • Sucker Punch (2011) is a big girl-power movie.
  • You know, I used to be made fun of as a kid for being really articulate; it was sort of like a strange thing.
  • I think that there’s a tendency for actors who play strong women to have them take on all the worst characteristics of men, to become cold and detached and hardened.
  • What I’ve realized is that we’re our own harshest critics. We give ourselves limitations. But I want to push through that wall, on a creative and personal level.
  • I guess I’ve always been really attracted to period pieces and always felt visually I was probably more made for the ’50s or the early ’60s than I am for a modern day.
  • I think when I first started acting there were different people who I thought, ‘I want that person’s career or that person’s career.’ And as time has gone on, it’s become really clear to me what is important to me; getting the best roles, the roles that I feel are challenging and scary and that I haven’t done yet.
  • I find often in Hollywood there are many people who play themselves really beautifully. And certain parts are not that dissimilar from who you are as a person.
  • One of the things I really love about TV is this symbiotic relationship you can get between the writers and the actors, and the characters start to come to life because you start to collaborate.
  • We are all multidimensional and kind of have dual personalities. Everyone puts on different roles depending on what circumstances they’re in without even noticing that they do that.
  • I’m intrigued by films that have a singular vision behind them. A lot of studio movies have ten writers by the time they’re done. You have a movie testing 200 times, making adjustments according to various people’s opinions. It’s difficult to have an undistilled vision.
  • Yeah, I guess I’m not a particularly religious person, but I do really believe strongly that we all need to believe in something, and that’s very personal to each one of us.
jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery(window).off("beforeunload", null); });