David Lopez and Guadalupe Rodriguez encourage their three daughters to perform skits in their Bronx home, igniting a strong desire to perform in their second daughter, Jennifer. After high school graduation, she appears in the 1987 film My Little Girl with Mary Stuart Masterson and James Earl Jones. She also dances in the musical Synchronicity in Japan.
Lopez gets a big Hollywood break as a fancy-footed Fly Girl on the Wayans brothers' hit Fox comedy show In Living Color, soon graduating to dramatic roles on TV's Second Chances and South Central.
After starring alongside Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos in Mi Familia, Lopez stars in the action comedy Money Train (left) with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. "She's as beautiful as a model, but she can act," director Joseph Ruben tells PEOPLE. She also begins filming Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson in Miami, where she spots 23-year-old Cuban waiter Ojani Noa.