|"Ugly Betty" Character Profiles|
[Note: Some character bio details have been culled from the dialogue of various episodes, while others
have come from bettysuarez.com. Occasionally, when there are contradictions between those two sources,
the details that have been mentioned on the show will be considered canonical.]
|Betty Suarez (played by America Ferrera)|
Intelligent and down to Earth, but not what one would call a "traditional beauty," Betty Suarez started working at Mode magazine after being spotted by Meade Publications' CEO, Bradford Meade. For once, Betty's appearance worked to her advantage. Meade wanted Betty to be his son Daniel's assistant, not only because of her qualifications, but because of his son's womanizing ways. Meade believed that Daniel wouldn't be tempted to seduce young Miss Suarez. Daniel resisted Betty's hiring at first, but he quickly realized that Betty's abilities and loyalty would help him to succeed at Mode. The Suarezes (protective father Ignacio, saucy sister Hilda, and fashion-loving nephew Justin) live in Queens.
|Daniel Meade (played by Eric Mabius)|
Daniel Meade found himself a little over his head when he was made Editor-in-Chief of Mode magazine after the death of former E.I.C. Fey Sommers in a fiery car crash. If the work load and responsibilties weren't enough, Daniel also had to contend with the machinations of Wilhelmina Slater, who thought that the magazine's top spot should have gone to her. Fortunately for him, Daniel had a very formidable ally in his new assistant, Betty Suarez. As resentful as he could be towards Bradford, Daniel also had a natural desire to make his father proud, especially since Daniel had always felt that he was living in the shadow of his dead brother, Alex, who had been the successful E.I.C. of Hudson magazine. When Alex returnedas Alexis the two shared the E.I.C. duties.
|Wilhelmina Vivian Slater (played by Vanessa L. Williams)|
Wilhelmina Slater, who was formerly Fey Sommers's plain-Jane assistant Wanda, had a miraculous makeover and became one of the fashion industry's top models and later became the Creative Director of Mode magazine, where she has worked for over twenty years. To gain recognition for her accomplishments, this dynamic woman has become an overachiever who strives to get acknowledgement from her stern father, a U.S. Senator, just as her own daughter, Nico, acts out to get her attention. This desire to excel makes Wilhelmina Slater a force to be reckoned with at Mode and in the world at large. Resentful of being passed over for the Editor-in-Chief's position, in what she considered to be a blatant act of nepotism, Wilhelmina will do everything that she can to undermine Daniel Meade's authority. In almost everything she does she's aided by her sycophantic assistant, Marc.
|Bradford Emerson Meade (played by Alan Dale)|
Bradford Meade is the President and founder of Meade Publications. After the death of Fey Sommers, with whom he'd been having a long-term extramarital affair, Bradford appointed his son, Daniel, as Editor-in-Chief of Mode, one of his company's most prestigious magazines. Bradford was in love with Fey, but it is not known whether he would have continued his affair with her, had she lived, or if he would have tried to make his marriage to Daniel's mother, Claire, work. A stern and distant father, Bradford threatened to disown his son Alex when the younger Meade revealed his desire to become a woman, and his relationship with Daniel hasn't been much better. After Claire went to prison for killing Fey, Wilhelmina seduced Bradford and got him to propose marriage to her, but at their lavish wedding ceremony he had a massive heart attack and died shortly afterward.
|Ignacio Suarez (played by Tony Plana)|
Ignacio is the protective patriarch of the Suarez family. One of the things that he has tried to protect his daughters and grandson from is the truth. Eventually, though, he finally had to admit that he is an illegal immigrant and the Social Security number he's been using belonged to an Ignacio Suarez who died many years ago. He also revealed that the girls' mother had been married before, to a wealthy man named Ramiro Vasquez. Ignacio had been the couple's cook, who witnessed many instances of wife abuse, until one day he couldn't take it anymore and he accidentally killed his employer, or so he thought. He and the boss's wife had fallen in love, so she accompanied him to the United States and they started a family of their own together. His path to legal U.S. citizenship was a bumpy one, but he finally became an American in 2007.
|Hilda Suarez (played by Ana Ortiz)|
Hilda is Betty's older sister. She had to drop out of Queens College before even attending a single class because she went into labor with her son Justin while she was on a bus, heading to the school. Hilda proudly sold Herbalux, an alternative form of medicine, for years, but has since turned to cosmetology and styling hair. Sometimes Hilda gives her sister a hard time when it seems that Betty's career at Mode is keeping her from some of her family obligations. After reconciling with Justin's father, Santos, the two planned to marry in 2007, but the groom was killed during a convenience store robbery shortly before the wedding.
|Justin Suarez (played by Mark Indelicato)|
Hilda's son Justin loves the world of designer clothing and supermodels, so he was thrilled when his Aunt Betty got a job at the fashion bible, Mode. Justin also loves old Hollywood musicals and is a fan of Martha Stewart. When he spent a day at Mode with Betty, Justin bonded with Marc after he noticed that Amanda was wearing two-year-old Manolo Blahniks. A highlight of his young life was having the lead role in his school's production of West Side Story. Justin went through a brief period of rebellion after his father's death.
|Amanda Tanen/Sommers (played by Becki Newton)|
Amanda, the Mode receptionist, grew up believing that she was the daughter of an investment banker and his wife. She'd had a fling with Daniel Meade, but eventually she accepted the fact that the relationship would never go anywhere. She often makes nasty comments to and about Betty, but every now and then she shows a tiny glimmer of humanity. One of her main reasons for despising Betty, besides the girl's lack of fashion sense, is because she herself wanted Betty's position as Daniel's assistant. She got the shock of her life when she discovered a birth certificate that revealed that Fey Sommers, a friend of her parents, was her real mother, but the name of her real father wasn't listed.
|Marc St. James (played by Michael Urie)|
Marc St. James, a Schenectady native, was born Marc Weiner, but changed the name for obvious reasons. He works as Wilhelmina Slater's loyal assistant. If this was Disney's Aladdin, he would be the Iago to Wilhelmina's Jafar. If it was The Wizard of Oz, he would be the flying monkey to her Wicked Witch of the West. If it was... well, you get the point. Because Betty doesn't fit into Marc's aesthetic standards, he often makes biting quips about her appearance and her home in Queens. There doesn't seem to be much that Marc wouldn't do to help Wilhelmina to take control of Mode. Marc is estranged from his mother, Jean, as well as from his most recent boyfriend, photographer Cliff St. Paul.
|Christina McKinney (played by Ashley Jensen)|
Christina McKinney, one of ten children, emigrated to the United States from Scotland during college, leaving behind a husband named Stuart, whom she'd left without a word. She is working on a line of her own clothing designs, but in the meantime she has the enviable position of being in charge of the Mode closets. On the downside, however, Wilhelmina Slater pretty much uses Christina as her own personal dresser. Christina is one of the only people at Mode who treats Betty Suarez like a human being and not the Elephant Man's little sister.
|Alex/Alexis Meade (played by ? and Rebecca Romijn)|
Daniel's brother Alexander Spencer Meade was believed to have died after he jumped out of a helicopter atop Mount Juneau during a skiing adventure in 2004. It turns out that the former Editor-in-Chief of Hudson magazine was in fact alive and going through gender reassignment surgery and treatments, not to mention conspiring with Wilhelmina to take over the Meade Publications empire. Daniel had always known that his brother was a risk taker, but he probably never considered Alex to be this adventurous. Alexis has wanted revenge against Bradford for years of emotional abuse. Claire was just happy to have her son/daughter back. [Note: Alexis was previously played by Elizabeth Penn Payne, who was credited as "Masked Lady"]
|Henry Grubstick (played by Christopher Gorham)|
Henry works in the Accounting department on the third floor at Meade Publications. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and is a bit of a bookworm who has an excellent memory for facts and figures. He can often be heard saying, "It's just something I know." Henry is quite smitten with Betty, and she with him. Her relationship with Walter was a bit of a hindrance, as was the surprise appearance of his estranged girlfriend, Charlie, who revealed to Henry that she was pregnant, just as he and Betty were about to embark on a relationship of their own. Eventually, Betty had to choose between Henry and Gio Rossi, but she decided to focus on her own life and career instead.
|Claire Meade (played by Judith Light)|
Claire is the wife of Bradford and mother of Daniel and Alexis (formerly Alex) Meade. Decades ago she learned that her husband was having an affair with Fey Sommers, but he convinced her that it was over. When she learned in 2006 that the affair was still going on, after more than 20 years, she and Fey both forced Bradford to make a choice. Fey was soon involved in a fiery car crash and Claire was sent, by Bradford, to the Stone Rehabilitation Center to treat her alcoholism. Since leaving the facility, Claire has faced many situations that have led her back to the bottle: the return of her supposedly dead son, Alex (and his sex change operation), and especially her confession that she caused Fey's death.
|Matt Hartley (played by Daniel Eric Gold)|
Matt, an employee at Great Sport magazine, met Betty in their YETI class and she soon made an impression on him. After they began dating, Betty discovered that Matt was the son of billionaire Cal Hartley. Betty made a bad impression the first time Betty met Matt's mother, Victoria, but his mother's negativity did not discourage Matt from wanting to continue seeing Betty. Eventually, Matt became Betty's boss at Mode, but he ended up quitting after Betty inspired him to do something meaningful with his life.
Episodes: 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65; Regular cast member from 66 to 76
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