Gabriela Elena Spanic Ulterra was born in Ortiz, the state of Guarico in Venezuela on December 10th, 1973. She has a twin sister Daniela, a younger sister Patricia and one brother, Antonio. The Spanic family is traditional Croatian-Venezuelan family. Her father moved with her grandparents from Croatia to Venezuela back in 1947.
Gaby attended psychology classes for a year, but her real passion was always acting. She attended acting classes at "Luz Columbia Theatre research Centre". Later on she took different courses at the "Training Centre of Professionals Communication", as well as in the "Free Workshop for the actors" She also got into modeling attending "Herman's Institute". Gaby knew that modeling would bring her into the acting business. She was elected Miss Guarico on 1992 and Miss Body in the "Miss Venezuela International" beauty pageant. Like many famous actors, Gabriela started to appear as an extra and later she gained smaller parts in Venezuelan telenovelas.
For Venezuelan TV station VENEVISION she gained number of triumphs. Gaby appeared in a small role in telenovela ROSANGELICA (1991), where she played Karla, then in MUNDO DE FIERAS and LA LOBA HERIDA (1992), among others. Little by little, the producers started to pay close attention to her. MORENA CLARA came in 1993, where she showed all of her talent as bitchy Linda Prado. This role opened the doors for her MARIA CELESTE (1994). Gabriela gained her first lead role in COMO TU NINGUNA (1994 / 1995) and she became internationally recognized. Her partner on the show was Venezuelan actor Miguel de Leon. Gabriela didn't like Miguel at first. She thought that he looked like a doll on a cake. As the filming continued further, Gaby realized that she felt more and more for him.
By the time the novela finished, they become a couple. They broke up with their previous partners. COMO TU NINGUNA became one of the best telenovelas made in Venezuela. It was sold in over then 80 countries and translated to many different languages. Gabriela got a part in another series QUIRPA DE TRES MUJERES (1996), where she showed all of her acting abilities. She played Emiliana. TODO POR TU AMOR was Gabriela's next project. In that telenovela she showed her talent for comedy as well as for drama. She played the part of Amaranta. After the filming concluded, Gabriela and Miguel decided to get married. They celebrated their wedding on October 22nd, 1997. Their wedding was televised. The biggest challenge in Gabriela's career was yet to come! Gabriela was offered to work in Mexico. Instead of going to their honeymoon, just 5 days after the wedding, she and Miguel packed their bags and went to Mexico.
The writer Carlos Romero, with whom she worked in COMO TU NINGUNA, proposed for her to take the part in the Mexican TV station TELEVISA's new major project, a series called LA USURPADORA (1998). Since a huge Mexican star, Thalia, turned down the role in this big budget production, Carlos Romero was commenting: "Either Gabriela Spanic or nobody"! As it turned out, his decision was right. Of course, Gabriela couldn't miss the chance to work in Mexico, also known as "Hollywood for telenovelas". She didn't have an idea how this chance will reflect on her life.
In Mexico, Gabriela and Miguel didn't know anybody. They were perfect strangers in a foreign country. They started to attend speech classes, because she needed to loose her heavy Venezuelan accent for the role in LA USURPADORA. Two parts were offered to her. Poor and truehearted Paulina and evil, frivolous Paola. Gaby also got a new co-star:
A big star of Mexican TV series, Fernando Colunga. Her husband Miguel also got a chance to participate in this show; he played a supporting role as billionaire Douglas Maldonado. LA USURPADORA broke all the records with audiences and it became one of the most recognized telenovelas ever. The show was sold in over 120 countries and it was translated in more then 25 languages. Now 25 years old, Gabriela Spanic was on her way to superstardom.
She was now an internationally recognized figure of adoration and admiration by many people. As a reward, TELEVISA offered her an exclusive 3-year contract to make two more telenovelas for them. In 1999, Gaby was offered to participate in another big TELEVISA production, called POR TU AMOR, side by side another big star of Mexican TV dramas, Saul Lisazo. She got to play the girl named Maria del Cielo. Around that time, Gaby's twin sister Daniela moved to Mexico to live with her sister and her brother-in-law. Daniela, who studied informatics, now wanted to try her chance as a professional model. Unlike her famous sister, she's not interested in acting.
Gaby and Dani decided to open the school for professional models, called "Gaby Spanic Institute", which later close due to Gabriela's lack of time. TELEVISA sent Gabriela on promotional tour with LA USURPADORA. In 1999 she visited Brazil with her husband Miguel, Daniela and their parents. In the year 2000 Gabriela visited Slovenia, Croatia and Indonesia, accompanied by her twin Daniela and by the coordinator of Televisa's international operations, Mr. Hector Cardenas Saavedra.
Thanks to the invitation of Croatia's GLORIA magazine, Gabriela found her long lost relatives in Croatia. The huge Spanic family was re-united in Croatia's capital Zagreb at the big dinner party in March of 2000. This trip was filled with high doses of emotions for both Gabriela and Daniela. After Croatia, they were on their way to Indonesia. US TV station UNIVISION called Gabriela to come to Miami to attend the award show LO NUESTRO, she received the award for the best dressed actress. Gabriela was also invited to come to Israel to take the part in yet another award show. On her way from Israel, she stopped for a one-day visit to Spain and in the second part of 2000 she went to visit Philippines.
Back in Mexico, Gaby prepared herself for her third telenovela for TELEVISA, a series called LA INTRUSA. Yet again, Gaby was offered to play a dual role, sisters Virginia and Vanessa. This time around, her co-star was Arturo Peniche, with whom she also worked in LA USURPADORA. The filming of LA INTRUSA started in October of 2000 and the last episode was shown on October 19th, 2001. This show was on second place of ratings in Mexico for most of the time.
The series couldn't reach the ratings of Gabriela's 1998 smashing hit LA USURPADORA as everybody hoped it would. A lot of people accused the show to be a copy of LA USURPADORA, but even though the titles of both shows are very similar, the story is completely different.
LA INTRUSA is yet to be shown in many countries throughout the world. Gabriela's 3-year contract with TELEVISA expired in May of 2001 and she still didn't sign a new one, unlike her husband Miguel who signed for 3 years as well. Gaby would like to stay with TELEVISA in the future, even though she's open to work in other countries as well, but now she wants to dedicate all of her energy to become a mother. She is planning to take two years of absence from TV to enjoy the life as a wife and a future mother in her colonial style house in Mexico City.
She also wants to dedicate her time to her hobbies, cooking, and her dogs, Vampi & Linda. No matter what the future has in store for our Gaby, she has managed to made a name for herself and we can be certain about one thing: We still didn't see the last from GABRIELA SPANIC...