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Erica Gimpel
Biography
Erica Gimpel is an actor, singer-songwriter, producer, and screenwriter. Known internationally for her performance as Coco Hernandez in the groundbreaking series Fame, Gimpel has starred in numerous primetime and cable shows, including Criminal Minds, Chicago Med, Shut Eye, True Blood, Grey's Anatomy, Nikita, Rizzoli & Isles, House, ER, Profiler, and Veronica Mars.

Gimpel's film credits include Tuesday Morning Ride, Smoke, The King of New York, No Such Thing, Freaky Friday, Romeo and Juliet in Harlem, and the recently completed Sylvie, opposite Tessa Thompson.

An accomplished theater performer, her off-Broadway and regional credits include originating the role of Mayme in Lynn Nottages' award-winning Intimate Apparel; the role of Glory Bee in Sam Shepard's States of Shock, opposite John Malkovich; and the role of Nelly in Jose Rivera's Each Day Dies With Sleep. Gimpel received the 2016 Los Angeles Stage Raw Award for Best Solo Performance for her portrayal of multiple characters in the one-woman play Sister, by Michael Phillip Edwards.

Having earned gold and platinum records for her work on Fame, Gimpel began producing her own music as a singer-songwriter. Her debut CD, Spread Your Wings and Fly, quickly found its place in the top albums and digital downloads for Jazz & Pop on CDBaby.com. The title track was featured in the indie film Hill and Gully, an Official Selection at Pan African de Cannes.

Gimpel is the recipient of the LA Femme Film Festival's Innovative Award and is an active member of SGI-USA, the world peace organization dedicated to pursuing the values of peace, culture, and education.

Over the years, Gimpel has used her talents to highlight different causes by producing benefit concerts and performing her original music for the Los Angeles Downtown Women's Center, 1736 Family Crisis Center, and One Billion Rising. She was invited to become a contributor to HuffPost, and in response to the rise of racially motivated acts of violence, published an open letter titled "Uprooting Racism – The Movment," bringing awareness to the critical importance of transforming race relations in America. Also, she serves on the advisory board of The PA Legacy Foundation, which is dedicated to making the arts available to underserved youth in New York City, her beloved hometown.

Erica's birthday is June 25. Follow her on Twitter @ericagimpel and on Instagram @TheEricaGimpel.