Actress Tia Texada is not only an award-winning actress best known for her portrayal of Sergeant Maritza Cruz on the TV procedural "Third Watch", but a singer and a dancer who has also worked as a model. Texada began acting at an early age, but did not start landing professional acting roles until the 1990s, via appearances on television shows (the soap "Malibu Shores", for which she was nominated for a NCLR Bravo Award) and films (the Robert Rodriguez vampire drama "From Dusk Till Dawn"). During the late 1990s and the early 21st century, Texada continued securing roles on a steady basis before winning a Florida Film Critics Circle Award for her work in the 2001 indie "Thirteen Conversations about One Thing". Around the same time, Texada began her role on "Third Watch". Appearing in 56 episodes of the show from 2002 through 2005, Texada won an Imagen Foundation Award in 2004 for Best Supporting Actress. She began a multi-episode role on another television series, the fat camp comedy-drama "Huge", in 2010.