A Native of Hollywood, California, Michelle Bonilla caught the acting bug at a young age. By the time she was 10 she was studying voice, music, dance, and theatre at Los Angeles City College’s Arts Department. She went on to major in drama at California State University Northridge. As a freshman she landed the role of “Ophelia” in the main stage production of Hamlet. Michelle left school to pursue her professional career. On her first Equity audition she landed the role of Renee, in the critically acclaimed Dark Rapture by Eric Overmyer at the prestigious Kalita Humphreys Theatre in Dallas, Texas. In Los Angeles her theatre credits include As You Like It…Fresh, Wilding, The Circle, The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts; the West Coast Premiere of Eddie Sanchez’s Award Winning, Clean, and Borderlands (Co-written by Dana Stevens) at Second Stage. She is proud to add The Impressionists at The Disney Concert Hall, working with the world renowned, Los Angeles Philharmonic, to her theatre roster. Michelle also co-wrote, produced, and starred in Mal Vista, at The Tamarind Theatre.
Ms. Bonilla made her big screen debut in Above Suspicion, with Christopher Reeve and Kim Cattral. Her other film credits include working opposite Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Halle Berry,Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Charlize Theron, Billy Bob Thorton, Hank Azaria, Jimmy Smitts, Richard Dreyfus, Tom Everett Scott, Anne Heche, Dule Hill, Olympia Dukakis and Haley Joel Osment. She has also worked with acclaimed directors such as Jonathan Lynn, Ken Kwapis, Amy Holden Jones, Stephen Gyllenhaal and John McNaughton.
Michelle began with an impressive list of television credits including recurring roles on The Profiler and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, where she originated the role of “Teresa Morales”, the first Mexican-American School Marm. She was honored to work, for the last 12 seasons, recurring as “Harms”, the sexy Latina paramedic, on NBC’s Emmy Award winning drama ER.
Ms. Bonilla, through her Soul Arts Production banner, has written, produced, and starred in Slip Away, her first short film, that was the 2011 ‘Official Selection’ of numerous film festivals, all over the world, and won the Bronze Palm Award at The 2011 Mexico International Film Festival as well as Best Short (Women’s) at the 2011 QCinema – Fort Worth International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Her most recent credits include Castle, Jane The Virgin, 24: Live Another Day – Solitary, The Bold and The Beautiful, Failing Upwards, Model Minority, Luck, Criminal Minds:Suspect Behavior, The Closer, CSI:Miami, Saving Grace, and Days of Our Lives.
Ms. Bonilla is one of the proud recipients of the Inaugural Gift of Life Entertainment Media Award from the National Kidney Foundation presented to the cast of ER. She is also the winner of the ALMA (American Latino Media Arts Award) Award for her portrayal in PBS’s Award Winning Foto-Novelas Series, Seeing Through Walls.