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A prolific character actress, Kimiko Gelman first came to prominence as Rose, the oldest of five orphans adopted by a millionaire on the musical series "Rags to Riches" (NBC, 1986-87). When the show ended, Gelman worked steadily with television guest spots, including on "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000), "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000) and "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002), as well as bit parts in films, including "Mother" (1996), "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" (1998) and "Minority Report" (2002). She recurred as Dr. Nicole Talcott on "CSI: Miami" CBS, 2002-12) but saw her profile receive a boost after landing the small but juicy role of Venia, one of the members of the style team for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in the hotly anticipated futuristic thriller "The Hunger Games" (2012). Carving out a quiet career as a character actress, Kimiko Gelman kept turning up in interesting places on both the small and big screens.
Born Feb. 20, 1966, Kimiko Gelman was an off-Broadway veteran whose biggest credit up until that time was as Treasure, a hooker with a heart of gold, on the soap "Loving" (ABC, 1983-1995) when she landed the role of Rose on "Rags to Riches" (NBC, 1986-87). While the musical comedy series only lasted a year, it became a cult favorite, and Gelman's turn as the oldest of five orphan girls adopted by a millionaire, resonated with many young viewers at the time. After the show ended, Gelman embarked on the life of a journeywoman actress, booking guest spots on everything from "Knots Landing" (CBS, 1979-1993) to "Freddy's Nightmares" (syndicated, 1988-1990), "Bagdad Café" (CBS, 1990-91) and "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000).
Gelman notched a bit part in the Albert Brooks/Debbie Reynolds comedy "Mother" (1996), a supporting role in "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" (1998) and guested on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000) and "The Pretender" (NBC, 1996-2000). Gelman appeared in "David and Lisa" (ABC, 1998) and "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002), made a cameo in the Tom Cruise sci-fi flick "Minority Report" (2002) and recurred on "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12) as Dr. Nicole Talcott. After booking an episode of "Zoey 101" (Nickelodeon, 2005-08) in 2006, Gelman's professional output slowed until she landed the flashy supporting role of Venia, one of the style team for Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in "The Hunger Games" (2012). Although Venia seemed outwardly shallow and unconcerned with the horrifying events of the film's dystopian future, the character actually served as a strong moral compass, allowing Gelman to create an interestingly layered performance.
By Jonathan Riggs
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