Nia
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Biography


Virenia (Nia) Gwendolyn  Peeples was born in Hollywood, California, on December 10, 1961.

Her maternal grandparents are both originate from the Philippines. Her Father, Robert Peeples was an artist and had Scottish, Irish, English, Native American and Italian ancestry. Her mother, Elizabeth Peeples is of Filipino, German and Spanish descent and was a flamenco dancer.

Nia was raised in West Covina, California with her two sisters, Paula and Cynthia. At eight years old she began performing with her family, giving concerts for community groups and conventions and doing dances of different cultures, Polynesian, Spanish and Irish.
 
She attended West Covina High School and was an "A" student and a member of the marching band, involved in cheerleading, tumbling, volleyball, student government, choral singing and singing for a rock 'n roll band. She starred in the school production of "South Pacific" as Bloody Mary. She got her first standing ovation for her performance.

She attended UCLA on a music scholarship, during which time she performed as Liberace's opening act in Las Vegas on weekends. She took one semester as a voice major, dropped out of UCLA and took three jobs in order to afford acting lessons. She studied singing with Gloria Rush and the Sanford Meisner acting technique at Playhouse West.

In 1981 She accompanied a friend to a rehearsal one day and was spotted by the producers, who cast her as Darice in the TV show "Music Shoppe".  This led to guest appearances in such TV series as "Hardcastle and McCormic" (1983) and "T.J. Hooker" (1984) and her first blink and you miss it scene on Fame in 1983 as a [potential girlfriend for Danny. Which was quite ironic as Nia and Carlo got engaged in 1986.

Her first starring role came when she played a deaf girl opposite William Atherton in the HBO film A Single Light (1981) (TV).
 
In 1984 she married her first husband Guy Ecker, whom she divorced in 1986.
 
AIso in 1984 she joine the cast of "Fame" full time in the role of Nicole Chapman, who she played for two and a half years until the character was killed off in a drink driving accident in the 1987 episode "Go Softly Into Morning", when Nia had decided to leave the show.
 
After leaving "Fame Nia starred in the surfing movie "North Shore" and presented the short lived U.S. version of successful music show "Top of the Pops".

In 1988 Nia released her first solo album "Nothin' But Trouble" and the first single "Trouble" was a number 1 hit on the American Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with and climbed to number 35 on the American Hot 100.

In 1989 Nia married her second husband, musician Howard Hewett, who was the lead singer in the group "Shalamar". The couple had a son together, Christopher born in 1990, and divorced in 1993.

In 1991 Nia hosted the TV series "Party Machine with Nia Peeples" and also released her self titled second album, which contained her most successful single "Street Of Dreams," which hit number 12 on the American Hot 100.

In 1997 Nia married her third husband, stuntman, Lauro Chartrand. They had a daughter, Sienna Noel in 1998 and the couple divorced in 2004.

In 1999 Nia joined the cast of "Walker Texas Ranger" playing the role of Sidney Cooke and she stayed with the show until 2001.
 
In 2007 Nia married her current husband, writer, editer, director & surfer Sam George and currently lives in Hollywood, California.
Through out her career Nia has starred in numberous TV shows and Movies, (see Filmography below).  She is currently working as executive producer on a new reality TV show titled "The Teen Whisperer", which she is hoping will turn into a TV series to help troubled teens and is also co starring in the ABC Family series "Pretty Little Liars". 
 
In 2010 Nia started a lifestyle website "Elements of Life" to share her beliefs on how people can make the best that they can be. 
 
Nia's hobbies include hiking, tandem surfing, rollerblading and skiing. She also works hard for numerous charities.
 

 
Filmography
Film
Year Film Role Notes
1981 A Single Light Deaf Girl TV movie
1984 Fame Nicole Chapman
1987 North Shore Kiani
1989 DeepStar Six Scarpelli
Swimsuit Maria TV movie
Nasty Boys Serena Cruz TV movie
1990 Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer Cathy Redding TV moive
1992 I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore Theresa Garabaldi
1994 My Name Is Kate Annie TV movie
XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl) Sasha Townes TV movie
1995 Improper Conduct Bernie
Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14 Allie Thompson TV movie
Mr. Stitch Dr. Elizabeth English TV movie
1996 Terminal Janet Reardon TV movie
Bloodhounds II Nikki Cruise TV movie
1997 Odd Jobs Assassin TV movie
Tower of Terror Jill Perry TV movie
1998 Blues Brothers 2000 Lt. Elizondo TV movie
Poodle Springs Angel
Heroes: The Mystique, the Movies, the Men Special Guest Host
2000 Alone with a Stranger Beth Jenkins
2001 Bruised Michelle
The Riff Heather Anderson
2002 The Chang Family Saves the World Pearl Empress TV movie
Half Past Dead 49er Six
2004 The Coven unknown TV movie
2005 Inside Out Maria
Sub Zero Kelli Paris
2006 Alpha Mom Susan TV movie
Special Unit Tara
Connors' War Amanda
2009 Citizen Jane Evelyn TV movie
The Outside Joanne Blakey
2010 Firedog Haley (voice) post-production
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Music Shoppe Darcie
1983 Tales of the Gold Monkey Zita Henriques 1 episode
Hardcastle and McCormick Waitress 1 episode
Days of Our Lives Mallory
General Hospital Carla Escobar  1983–1994
Fame (1982 TV series) Nicole Chapman 27 episodes, 1983–1986
1984 T.J. Hooker Maria Dominguez 1 episode
1987 Top of the Pops Host unknown episodes
1989 Matlock Morgan Gerard 1 episode
Nasty Boys Serena Cruz 13 episodes, 1989–1990
1991 The Party Machine with Nia Peeples Host
1992 The New WKRP in Cincinnati Sierra Smith 2 episodes
1993 Return to Lonesome Dove Agostina Vega mini-series
1994 Highlander: The Series Nefertiri 1 episode
Touched by an Angel Angela Evans 1 episode
1995 Crazy Love
Marker Lisa 1 episode
Courthouse Veronica Gilbert 11 episodes
1997 Early Edition Sister Mary 1 episode
Crisis Center Lily Gannon 5 episodes
1998 Real Life Maya 1 episode
1999–2001 Walker, Texas Ranger Sydney Cooke 47 episodes
2004 Andromeda Rox Nava 1 episode
The Division Sandra Prestiss 2 episodes
2005 Barbershop Det. Hahanna 3 episodes
2007 Arwin! Ms. Hawkhauser 1 episode
The Young and the Restless Karen Taylor 130 episodes, 2007–2009
2010 Pretty Little Liars Mrs. Fields TV series- filming
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