Life and Career
Ortiz was born in Manhattan and is the daughter of Angel L. Ortiz, a former Philadelphia City Council member of Puerto Rican descent, and an Irish-American mother.
As a child, Ortiz originally dreamed of becoming a ballerina, and she studied ballet for eight years, until the pain of dancing en pointe forced her to pursue a different artistic discipline.
Switching to singing, Ortiz attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City and later the University of the Arts in Philadelphia before making her professional stage debut in a regional theater production of Dangerous Liaisons. Her additional stage credits include portraying Chrissy in a European touring production of Hair, regional theater productions such as Dog Lady and the Cuban Swimmer and in the South Coast Repertory Theater's production of References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot.
After joining LAByrinth Theatre Company, she appeared off-Broadway in In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, which also co-starred Puerto Rican actress Liza Colón-Zayas and was directed by Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and named one of the 10 best plays of 1999 by the magazine Time Out New York.
On television, Ortiz's resume includes NYPD Blue, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, Commander in Chief, Boston Legal, ER, Revenge, Elena of Avalor, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Over There, her first full-time series role, Kristin and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Eventually, Ortiz landed the role of Hilda Suarez, the sister to the titular protagonist on the ABC series Ugly Betty. Originally, Ortiz had auditioned for the main role, but it went to America Ferrera instead. Ortiz said in 2008, "I was super plain. I just put on some glasses and kept my hair kind of flat and layered on the clothing", describing what she wore when auditioning for the role of Betty. "I just wanted them to remember me, so that I could be involved in the future".
Ortiz graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ortiz lives in New York City. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, softball, and water sports, and writes poetry. She married musician Noah Lebenzon on June 9, 2007 in Rincón, Puerto Rico. The couple were expecting their first child on June 25, 2009. On Saturday, June 27, 2009, Ana and Noah welcomed a daughter named Paloma Louise Lebenzon. Paloma was born at 4:25 p.m. and weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces. The second child, a son named Rafael, was born on September 24, 2011.