Leyva was born on May 26, 1972 in Baracoa, Cuba and raised in The Bronx, New York, USA.
She has appeared in the number of Off-Broadway productions. On television, Leyva had a recurring role of Detective Mariluz Rivera in Law & Order, and also appeared in different roles on the show and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also guest-starred on Third Watch, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Girls, and Elementary.
In 2013, Leyva began starring as Gloria Mendoza, a Latina leader in the jail, in the Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black. She recurred the first two seasons and was promoted to series regular in Season Three. She also set to appear in upcoming film St. Vincent opposite Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray.
Personal Life Edit
Leyva has one daughter, Alina. She is a supporter of the LGBT community and revealed in June 2015 that her sister Marizol is a transgender woman.