When Erica Gimpel was in the womb, her mother was on stage singing in a production of "Porgy & Bess" and the lithe Gimpel, with translucent tan skin and ready a smile, took to show business. She went on to study at New York's High School for the Performing Arts which prepped her for her first major role as Coco, the ambitious singer-dancer-actor, in the TV series version of "Fame," for which she also sang the title song. She stayed with the series for the full 1982-1983 season on NBC, then made occasional appearances, while she returned to New York to appear Off-Broadway.
On the small screen, Gimpel played the visionary Semiramis in the 1985 ABC miniseries "North and South" and reprised the role for the sequel "North and South: Book II" (ABC, 1986). She was a cop trying to talk Peter Facinelli out of becoming a hustler in "The Price of Love" (Fox, 1995). From 1996, Gimpel was a regular on NBC's "Profiler," playing the sculptor friend of tormented psychologist Sam Waters (Ally Walker).
Her feature film work has been limited to mostly small roles. Gimpel could be seen in "Penny Ante" (1990), as well as in David Mamet's "Homicide" (1991). Gimpel was an irate woman in a short bit in Hal Hartley's "Amateur" (1994) and a nurse in "Flirt" (1995), for the same director. She was also among the ensemble players in "Smoke" (1995).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Played role of Coco in TV series version of "Fame" (NBC)
Made miniseries debut in "North and South" (ABC)
Had early feature film role in "Penny Ante"
Co-starred on "Profiler" (NBC), role made recurring during the 1998-1999 season