Sandra Purpuro stars as Liz Labella, a co-worker of John DiResta's, his sister-in-law, and a tough woman respected for walking the beat, in UPN's new comedy series "DiResta."
While growing up in Clifton, New Jersey, Purpuro wanted to be in theater so her mother enrolled her in the Performing Arts High School. "My mom told me that, since I wasn't doing so great in regular school and all I ever wanted to do was sing and dance, she was going to send me to the Performing Arts School, but I had to get my grades up and graduate on time. And I did."
After high school, Purpuro moved to Manhattan where she got off-Broadway work as Maggie in the Playwrights Horizons' production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and as Roberta in the John Houseman Theatre production of "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea." She also created the role of Louise Blaine in "Prom Queens ... Unchained," a musical comedy.
In addition, Purpuro toured the U.S. and Europe in productions of "The Rocky Horror Show"; "Hello, Dolly"; "Cats"; and "West Side Story," her favorite musical.
After years of paying her dues, Purpuro was thrilled to get the role of Cha-cha in the Broadway production of "Grease" that featured Rosie O'Donnell as Rizzo. Inspired by O'Donnell's quick entrée to Broadway via Hollywood, Purpuro decided to move to Los Angeles and give it a try herself.
Once in Los Angeles, she kept busy with guest-starring roles on "Party of Five," "NYPD Blue" and "Caroline in the City," and did three pilots before "DiResta," the first one to be ordered into series production. "I'm really looking forward to working regular hours every week. It's a real job," Purpuro says.
Currently content living in Los Angeles with her favorite cat, Cody, Purpuro is grateful for the work opportunities and likes the temperate weather. Her fondest wish, however, is to one day return to the Broadway stage, but this time as a headliner.
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