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- Ramona Milano
- Nobleton Ontario Canada
- Actress Acting Coach
Canadian actress Ramona Milano had perhaps one of the most colorful recurring roles on Due South -- that of the irrepressible Francesca Vecchio, who wished to bed and wed the upright Constable Benton Fraser, and probably in that order.
Ramona refers to Francesca as a "free spirit," and that is exactly how she comes across on the screen. She can quite literally stomp her way through a scene, and for this portrayal, she garnered a Gemini award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1997.
Born in Nobleton, Ontario, Ramona graduated from the Etobicoke School of Arts in 1987. Before entering the drama program at Humber College, she put her skills to use as a singer/dancer at Canada's Wonderland. After graduation, she worked 18 months for a Toronto advertising agency before going after a full-time acting career.
That career got a good boost from appearing in the CBS series Top Cops. She played Jason Gedrick's love in the highly rated CBS miniseries The Last Don. Despite her brief seduction scene in Due South, where Francesca surprises Fraser by dropping her overcoat to reveal sexy lingerie beneath, The Last Don was her first love scene, so she was consequently nervous. However, all went smoothly.
Although Francesca lusted after Fraser, Ramona does not. She's happily married to her husband, Fabio, a teacher whom she met on a blind date to which she had be dragged 'kicking and screaming.'
Ramona auditioned for the Due South TV movie in 1993, and used her own background of coming from an Italian family to enhance her audition of the feisty and divorced Francesca Vecchio. She won the role, which she considered to be a one-shot deal, and was delighted to come back as a recurring character when the movie became a TV series.
When Due South was renewed for a third season, Ramona found her role expanded. Catherine Bruhier, who had played Elaine Besbriss in previous seasons, had opted to go to Los Angeles to pursue her career. The role of Francesca was expanded, and given new challenges - her brother Ray (David Marciano) had gone deep undercover with the Mob, and she obtained a new 'brother', that of popular Canadian actor Callum Keith Rennie. Francesca took over Elaine's job at the station, much to the horror of many around her, but despite her lack of office skills, she succeeds.
Ramona admits she's a "creature of habit" when working on a job, and was apprehensive about changes at first, but soon came to realize that these changes offered new opportunities.
However, Ramona's greatest challenge does not lie in the entertainment field. She and her husband are the proud parents of a baby boy, Mitchell, born in May 1998. She continued in the role of Francesca until Due South concluded production, so you will see her covering her pregnancy with a lot of file folders and strategic placement of office furniture in the latter half of season four.
Since Due South, Ramona continues to secure parts in many different movie and television productions such as "Pushing Tin," "Traders," "The Relic Hunter," and "Earth: Final Conflict." She's also been working on her own television pilot. Ramona taught drama at the Rumball Music Studios for six years and in 2006 she opened up her own drama studio, Suburban Vortex Productions, in Bolton, Ontario.