If you grew up in the ’90s (which let’s face it was the best childhood era), then you probably spent a great deal of time trying to figure out, Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? The polished and always poshly dressed supervillain was always a step ahead of us, trotting around the globe and stealing massive landmarks from right under our noses. Along with the series, there were video games, a cartoon, and even a board game, but it was the game show, Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? that we remember most of all. The show which only aired for two seasons gave us a true glimpse at the fedora wearing icon.
So where has Ms. Sandiego been all of these years?! Luckily Huffington Post writer Todd Von Luling has made it his mission to discover who the mysterious actress behind the live action character is. Von Luling snagged an interview with Broadway actress Janine LaManna, who played Carmen on the series. When the show aired during the mid-’90s, the credits actually never revealed who the V.I.L.E (Villains International League of Evil) Leader was. LaManna gave Von Luling a bit of insight as to why that was strategically done. She said, “Because of the mysterious aspect of her, I don’t think they ever wanted an actor to be [associated with Carmen] … They didn’t ever want to reveal my face probably. Then you would reveal Carmen. But don’t forget, the internet was not [as useful back then]. It wasn’t that easy to find stuff. Everything had to go through the press.”
But wait, it gets even trickier. Apparently, LaManna was actually right there under our noses the entire time. On the series, she also played some of the good characters. During the 65 episodes of the first season of the series, LaManna estimated that she played about a dozen different characters, including Carmen. She went on to tell Von Luling that she remembers her time as Carmen Sandiego fondly and that it was her first big break in the industry.
We may never be able to catch up with the stylish supervillain (homegirl is just way to stealth for us) but we personally want to send a shout out to Todd Von Luling for being persistent AF and solving a twenty-year-old mystery!