The daughter of Emilio Diaz, a second-generation Cuban-American oil company foreman, and his wife Billie, who is of Native American, Italian, and German descent, Diaz began modeling when she was 16 years old.
Her successful modeling career took her to Japan, Australia, Morocco and Paris, among other locales, and landed her in such magazines as , starring rubber-faced comic Jim Carrey.
With no previous acting experience, she had originally auditioned for a supporting character in the film.
Twelve callbacks later, however, she was hired to play torch-singing mob moll Tina Carlyle, the female lead.
In the fall of 2000, she starred alongside Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as one of the three female detectives at the heart of the hit big-screen remake of Aaron Spelling's campy 1970s television show, .
She played a mother of three who finds herself at odds with her youngest child Anna (Abigail Breslin) over her middle child's medical needs.
I don't think that I could ever do something that extravagant.