Actress Natalie Raitano is known for her portrayal of Nikki Franco on the Pamela Anderson television series “V.I.P.” (1998-2002). She also had a recurring role on “Martial Law” (2000) and executive produced and starred in the Internet series “Pink” (2007-2008). In addition, Raitano has appeared in a string of features, including “One More Round” (2005), “Killing Down” (2006), “Jada” (2008) and “Killing of Wendy” (2009). She was once in a singing group called Breeze.
Raitano is of Italian descent. She owns two dogs.
Childhood and Family:
Natalie Raitano was born on October 3, 1966, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Her father owns a paper products company and her mother is active in the Special Olympics. She has a younger brother and sister. She graduated from Monongahela Valley Catholic High School in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, in 1984. She went on to major in dance and performing arts at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. She studied ballet as a child.
Natalie Raitano was an aerobics instructor and hosted the ESPN2 show “Hip Hop Body Shop” before making a promising acting debut in the syndicated series “V.I.P.,” which starred Pamela Anderson. In the series, Natalie played Nikki Franco, a weapons and explosives expert, throughout the show's run from September 26, 1998, to May 18, 2002.
In 1999, she appeared four times on “The Howard Stern Radio Show” and five times on “Howard Stern.” She also made guest appearances on “Hollywood Squares” and was featured in “The Daily Show,” “Happy Hour” and the TV movie “Kilroy” (all also 1999). In 2000, she landed a recurring role on the last season of CBS series “Martial Law,” where she portrayed Ivana Bock in the episodes “The Thrill Is Gone,” “In the Dark” and “Final Conflict: Part 1 & 2.” In 2001, Raitano made her feature debut by playing Luscious Lola in the action comedy “Slammed.”
After “V.I.P.” came to an end in 2002, Raitano disappeared from the screen for a few years and resurfaced in the 2005 comedy “One More Round,” which was directed and co-written by Stephen Sepher and starred Tony Amendola, Lisa Arturo and Jenna Bailey. The same year, she starred with Kel Mitchell and Nora Farlice in the direct to video “Ganked,” which won a Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the 2005 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival.
In 2006, Raitano was cast as Angela in Blake Calhoun's action thriller “Killing Down.” It premiered at the USA Film Festival on May 2, 2006. The same year, she also portrayed Jennifer Reeves in the short “Truth Be Told,” by director Dave Bergeson and writer Lydia Castro.
In 2007, Raitano starred as an assassin named Natalie Cross in the web episodes of “Pink,” which premiered on September 4, 2007, on YouTube and MySpace. She also served as an executive producer on “Pink.” Still in 2007, Raitano teamed up with Victoria Rowell, Kel Mitchell, Dimitris Lekkos and Beth Grant in the TV film “Polly and Marie,” played Mrs. Janet in an episode of the series “Hip Hop Harry” called “ Make Your Dreams Come True” and portrayed the role of Angelina Benvenuti on the TV series “The Benvenuti Family.”
Raitano was next cast as Brenda in the 2008 dramatic film “Jada,” which was directed by Robert A. Johnson, written by Daniel Chavez and starred Juan Mabson, Marlo Williams and Sonalii Castillo. She next portrayed Pat in the comedy film “Killing of Wendy” (2009), opposite Vanessa Bell Calloway, Caroline Chikezie and Angell Conwell, appeared as a nurse in the short “The Joshua's Soul Film Short” (2009), which won a Bronze Medal for Best Urban Short Film at the 2009 New York International Film and a TV Festival and Genre Award for Best Short Film - Urban at the 2009 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival.
In January 2010, Raitano appeared in an episode of the tabloid entertainment television news program “The Insider.” On April 22, 2010, she appeared in “Access Hollywood.”
Raitano has completed filming “Letting Go,” a film written, directed by and starring Jake Torem. The film is scheduled to be released on October 3, 2011.