An attractive stage-trained player often in Latina roles on TV, Dawson studied theater at Berkeley before landing her first job in the Broadway production of "A Chorus Line" as Diana Morales. She went on to amass credits on the NY stage and in regional theater, working with the Circle Repertory Company, Classic Stage Company and the American Contemporary Theater. Dawson gained wider exposure as Adrienne Morrow on the NBC soap "Another World" before finding regular work in primetime with guest shots, TV-movies and stints on several short-lived dramas. She made her feature debut with a supporting role in the 1950s blacklisting drama "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991). Dawson entered American pop culture history as a regular on "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1995-2001). As the half-human/half-Klingon chief engineer B'Elanna Torres, the actress convincingly conveyed both the strength and the conflicted nature of the character.