Biography: Justina Machado (born September 6, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois), is an actress of Puerto Rican descent who is best known for her role of "Vanessa Diaz" in the television series "Six Feet Under".
Machado's family immigrated from Puerto Rico and settled in the City of Chicago. There her parents met and were married. The couple had five children, amongst them Justina. Machado was very active in drama, always participating in her school plays. In 1986, she attended Lane Tech High School and during her spare time performed with the Latino Chicago Theater Company.
In 1990, she graduated from high school and moved to New York City. The experience which she had gained as a performer with the Latino Chicago Theater Company, helped open the doors for her in that city. Soon, she was offered a job as a professional actress in Los Angeles, California. She moved to Los Angeles and in 1996, Machado landed her first two acting roles. She was cast as "Elsa" in the T.V. series "NYPD Blues" episode #311 and she was also cast as "Val Cho" in the movie made for television "No One Can Tell".
On June 10, 2001, Machado auditioned for the "new" T.V. series "Six Feet Under" and was cast as "Vanessa Diaz", a supporting role character which has evolved into a "regular" character in the series. Machado and her castmates were honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series". The series entered its fifth and final season in 2005. Machado has also appeared in the Canadian television series "1-800-Missing" as "Sunny Estrada".
Machado has participated in over 14 films. Amongst her most notable roles so far are: "Carmen Rodriguez" in the 1997 film "She's So Lovely" directed by Nick Cassavete; a supporting role in "Full Frontal" (2002); as "Isabella Hudson" in director David R. Ellis' 2003 horror movie "Final Destination2"; as "Agent Herderson" in the 2004 thriller "Torque" starring Ice Cube and she is currently cast as "Natalie" in "Little Fugitive" which is in its post-production stages.
Machado has also made appearances on stage. She participated in the productions of "Blade to the Heat" and "Black Butterfly" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.