Greene, Michele Dominguez 1962–

views updated

Greene, Michele Dominguez 1962–

(Michele Greene)


Born February 3, 1962, in Las Vegas, NV; daughter of Roland (a casino manager) and Dorita (a singer and dancer) Greene; married Brahms Yaiche, 1998 (divorced, 1998). Education: University of Southern California, B.F.A.


Home and office—CA. Agent—Adam Lazarus, Bauman, Redanty & Shaul, 5757 Wilshire, Ste. 473, Los Angeles, CA 90036.


Actress, screenwriter, singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Actress in television series, including Eight Is Enough, 1980-81, Bay City Blues, 1983, L.A. Law, 1986-91, Diagnosis: Murder, 1997, JAG, 2002, and The Unit, 2006; actress in television films, including In the Best Interest of the Child, 1990, She Woke Up Pregnant, 1996, and L.A. Law: The Movie, 2002; actress in films, including The Legend of Lucy Keyes, 2005; actress in stage productions, including The Seven-Year Itch, The Shadow Box, and Antony and Cleopatra. Singer and songwriter on recordings, including Ojo de Tiburón, 2002, and Luna Roja, 2006.

Awards, Honors

Emmy Award nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, 1989, for L.A. Law; Power Up filmmaking grant, 2002, for Fly Cherry; Moondance Film Festival screenplay award, 2004, for Beethoven's 7-11; Best Books for Young Adults selection, American Library Association, 2006, for Chasing the Jaguar.


Chasing the Jaguar: A Martika Gálvez Mystery (young-adult novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to books, including The Bilingual Soul, and to periodicals, including Los Angeles Times Magazine, Animal Wellness, and Cuerpo.


Fly Cherry, Power Up Films, 2003.

Also author of Beethoven's 7-11.


Actress and songwriter Michele Greene, best known for her Emmy-nominated performance as Abby Perkins on the popular television series L.A. Law, is also a published novelist under the name Michele Dominguez Greene. The author of the critically acclaimed young-adult novel Chasing the Jaguar: A Martika Gálvez Mystery and an avid writer since childhood, Greene has also produced screenplays, essays, and theater pieces. "Language is fascinating, the way a story is told, the voice of the writer, his/her perspective … it's like a drug to me," she noted on her home page. "It's the same thing as an actor, the way the character speaks, the language she chooses. Sometimes I cannot get past a certain passage in a book, the lyricism of the language is so powerful."

The characters in Chasing the Jaguar reflect their author's multiethnic heritage. Greene's father, a man of Irish ancestry, passed away when Greene was a toddler, and her mother took the family to Los Angeles to live with her Mexican/Nicaraguan relatives. Because Greene grew up in a bilingual household, she is fluent in both English and Spanish. In Chasing the Jaguar, she introduces Martika Gálvez, a savvy Mexican-American teen who lives in a gang-infested Los Angeles neighborhood. As she prepares to celebrate her quinceañera, Martika begins having strange and frightening dreams about a jaguar. Worried for her daughter, Martika's mother, Aurelia, arranges a meeting with the teen's great aunt Tia Tellin, a local bruja, or witch. When Tia Tellin reveals to Martika that her troubling dreams stem from the fact that she is descended from a long line of Mayan shamans who possess psychic powers, the girl becomes aware of her own special abilities. After Jennifer Colton, the daughter of Aurelia's boss, is abducted, Martika experiences visions of the kidnapping and attempts to channel her powers into rescuing Jennifer.

According to School Library Journal reviewer B. Allison Gray, Chasing the Jaguar blends a "mystery told from multiple perspectives, magical realism of the Mayan world, a girl's inherited powers, and a statement on value systems." "Particularly well drawn are the details of Mexican American life in Martika's L.A. neighborhood," observed Booklist critic Gillian Engberg, while Claire Rosser wrote in a Kliatt review of Chasing the Jaguar that Greene's debut "is thrilling, spooky, and filled with responsible, trying-their-best teenagers."

"Taking the risk to expand my career has paid off, even before getting signed or picked up by a major publisher," Greene stated on her home page. "It's just the day-to-day work of writing, of telling a story whether it is in a book, a song or a character … that's what makes this roller coaster ride worthwhile. Because that is what being an artist is about: interpreting this beautiful, crazy, painful, passionate thing we call life, reflecting it back at people in a way that you hope they connect to. It's a beautiful life, challenging and insecure sometimes but beautiful all the same."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, May 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Chasing the Jaguar: A Martika Gálvez Mystery, p. 42.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2006, Cindy Welch, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 498.

Hispanic, June-July, 2006, Victor Cruz-Lugo, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 80.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 459.

Kliatt, May, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 9.

People, May 13, 2002, "Stop, in the Name of L.A. Law!," p. 190.

School Library Journal, July, 2006, B. Allison Gray, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 103.

Washington Post Book World, July 9, 2006, Elizabeth Ward, review of Chasing the Jaguar, p. 11.

World Entertainment News Network, June 11, 2006, "L.A. Law Star Creates New Latina Nancy Drew."


Michele Dominguez Greene Home Page, (March 10, 2007).

About this article

Greene, Michele Dominguez 1962–

Updated About content Print Article