The actress behind this character has always been kept a secret. She was a globe-trotting super villain who stole landmarks from around the world. However, it was impossible to catch her. The character managed to make several TV shows and even video games. There was even a game show, ‘Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?”. This actually featured a live version of the character which was performed on screen. Therefore, there WAS a real ‘Carmen Sandiego’! However, the show never revealed who played the role, leaving the credit for it empty.
In 2016, one man (Todd Van Luling) decided to figure out who Carmen Sandiego really was which proved to be a difficult task! Here is his journey:
1. In the credit for ‘Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?’, no actress was listed as playing her.
2. These other stars traveled the country in character to promote the show but there was never any ‘Carmen’.
Isn’t that so weird?
3. Even in the video games, her face was covered so that you never got a look look at her at all.
4. Some have speculated that the general cast member, Janine LaManna played Carmen.
5. He tried reaching out to her but she is hard to find.
Although she has appeared on stage for the Broadway opening of “Sweet Charity” in 2005.
6. He still attempted to find her through social media channels.
To no avail.
7. He even tried to ask people on the streets of New York just in case this would work.
He did this because in the Carmen Sandiego games that he played, you’d travel to different cities and ask strangers for clues. This didn’t work.
8. He thought about wearing a detective costume suitable for catching LaManna in Times Square.
However, he was nervous about wearing ‘banana yellow’.
9. Finally, he receives an Email from LaManna saying, “Sorry you had a hard time locating me!”
10. So, after all this time, he spoke on the phone with LaManna who confirmed that she was Carmen Sandiego.
She told him in length about what it was like to play this role and shared photos of herself from back then.
She explained why the show wanted to keep her identity a secret saying, “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, th internet was not (as useful back then). It wasn’t that easy to find stuff. Everything had to go through the press.”
11. LaManna played the “good” people that helped contestants twart Carmen.
12. LaManna was the perfect embodiment of Carmen.
13. So, where is Carmen Sandiego Now?
LaManna has since pursued her passion for theater after the first season and assumed that she could return to the character. Unfortunately, “Where in Time?” only lasted for two seasons and another actress played the role as Carmen during the second season.
13. Now, she’s married to an army officer and has been traveling the world since.
Therefore, she is still not to be easily found.