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Denise Marie Quiñones August (born Sep­tem­ber 9, 1980 in Ponce, Puer­to Rico) is a Puer­to Rican actress and beau­ty pageant title­hold­er who was the fourth woman from her coun­try to win the Miss Uni­verse con­test. Pri­or to win­ning the Miss Uni­verse pageant, she rep­re­sent­ed her home­town of Lares in the Miss Puer­to Rico Uni­verse 2001 pageant.


Quiñones,won the Miss Uni­verse 2001 pageant in Baya­mon, Puer­to Rico in 2001. She was crowned by Lara Dut­ta, Miss Uni­verse 2000 of India. Her win, over Greek con­tes­tant Eveli­na Papan­to­niou, came on the Miss Uni­verse pagean­t’s 50th anniver­sary. As Miss Uni­verse, Quiñones resided in New York City for a year, enjoy­ing the ben­e­fits that all win­ners of the pageant receive, includ­ing com­pli­men­ta­ry make-up and hair­care, a car, com­plete wardrobe, pro­fes­sion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion by the Miss Uni­verse Orga­ni­za­tion, a $60,000 schol­ar­ship to a New York City film school, and trav­el­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties.  On the night of the Miss Uni­verse 2002 con­test, she passed on her crown, once again in Puer­to Rico (this time the event was held in the city of San Juan), to Oxana Fedoro­va of Russia.

Since relin­quish­ing the title, Quiñones attend­ed the School for Film and Tele­vi­sion’s two-year con­ser­va­to­ry act­ing pro­gram. Present­ly an actress, Quiñones has starred in the Span­ish ver­sion of Nilo Cruz’s play Ana en el trópi­co (Anna in the Trop­ics) and con­tin­ues to hone her tal­ent in the Unit­ed States. For her role in Anna in the Trop­ics, she was nom­i­nat­ed and award­ed an HOLA Award (from the His­pan­ic Orga­ni­za­tion of Latin Actors) and an ACE Award. In Octo­ber 2005, she was select­ed for the role of Doña Rosi­ta, in a pro­duc­tion of Fed­eri­co Gar­cia Lor­ca’s play Doña Rosi­ta la soltera.

Quiñones guest-starred in a sea­son 5 episode of the WB Net­work tele­vi­sion series Smal­l­ville. She played Andrea, a masked avenger who fought crime in Metrop­o­lis and invit­ed Clark Kent (Tom Welling) to join her in her adven­tures. On the heels of her Smal­l­ville role, she was also cast in the role of “Rachel”, a young fight­er pilot in the pilot for the TV series Aqua­man, which was in devel­op­ment for the CW Tele­vi­sion Net­work. The pilot did not make the fall 2006 line­up.  In Novem­ber 2006, Quiñones led the off-Broad­way cast of Zana­ho­rias (or Car­rots in Eng­lish), a Span­ish com­e­dy by Span­ish play­wright Anto­nio Zan­ca­da. For her role in Zana­ho­rias, she won an ACE Award in 2007.  In July 2008, it was announced that Quiñones would play the part of Lara in the upcom­ing film I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, based on the book of the same name. On July 24, 2008, pro­duc­er Tuck­er Max announced on the film’s offi­cial pro­duc­tion blog that Quiñones had dropped out due to a sched­ul­ing conflict.