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Denise Quinones Biography

Denise Marie Quiñones August (born November 9, 1980) was the 4th Puerto Rican winner of the Miss Universe contest. She represented Lares when she won the right to represent Puerto Rico in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant.
Quiñones won the contest in her own backyard - Puerto Rico - in 2001. Her win, over Greek supermodel Evelina Papantoniou, was the first time a woman outside of the US mainland had taken the Miss Universe crown in her own homeland. The victory came on the Miss Universe pageant's 50th anniversary.

There was a bit of controversy regarding Quiñones's win, which came on the heels of massive audience support during the telecast, the placement of Dayanara Torres (former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico) and her then-husband Marc Anthony on the judging panel, and the early preparations for the 2002 pageant to also be held in Puerto Rico. Papantoniou, who remains legendary in the pageant world for her stunning looks and revolutionary catwalk, arguably gave the better answer in interview and was cut off by host Naomi Campbell, while Quiñones did not have such a disadvantage but also delivered impeccable presentations. Officially, the eight judges on the final jury deadlocked, with the final scores tallied equally between Papantoniou and Quiñones, and Quiñones's higher semifinal scores were used as the tie-breaker, which was also done in 1998.

Quiñones lived in New York City for a year, enjoying the benefits that all winners of the contest have. Among these privileges are: 5 year make-up and haircare for free, a car, wardrobe, professional representation by the Miss Universe Organization, a $60,000 scholarship to a New York City film school, and travelling opportunities. During her reign, Quiñones traveled to, among others, Indonesia, Cuba, and Japan.

On the night of the Miss Universe 2002 contest, she gave her crown, in front of another hometown crowd, to the controversial Oxana Fedorova of Russia.

Since relinquishing the title, Quiñones attended the School for Film and Television's two-year Conservatory Acting Program. Rather unknown among her pupils, many of them were surprised to find out Quiñones was a former Miss Universe titleholder.

Now an actress, Quiñones starred in the Spanish version of Nilo Cruz's play ""Ana en el trópico" ("Anna in the Tropics") and continues to hone her talent in the United States.

For her role in ("Ana in the Tropics") she was nominated and awarded an ACE and Hola Awards. In October 2005 she was selected for the role of Doña Rosita, in the Federico Garcia Lorca´s poetic play "Doña Rosita the Spinster." Denise has also been nominated for another ACE awards for her role in this play.

Most recently, Quiñones guest-starred on a fifth-season episode of the hit WB Network television series Smallville. She played Andrea, a masked avenger who fought crime in Metropolis and invited Clark Kent (Tom Welling) to join her in her adventures. On the heels of her Smallville role, series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar revealed that they had cast her in the role of "Rachel" for the Aquaman TV pilot they are developing.


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