Changed her last name to Ayanna when she learned that Lopez was the last name of her maternal grandfather, who she discovered abandoned her mother. Ayanna means "blessed" and Charlotte feels she has been blessed. Attended the University of California at Irvine. Moved to Vermont with her mother and siblings in 1977.
Charlotte was an out-of-work actress when Ricky Martin picked her head shot from the hundreds submitted last year for his romantic video.
Spent sixteen years of her childhood in foster homes.
Miss Vermont Teen USA.
Impoverished as a child.
Won Miss Teen USA in 1993 wearing a $37 evening gown.
Spokeswoman for foster children.
Her mother was mentally disturbed and lost custody of Charlotte, her brother, and her sister Diana.
Charlotte lived in a group home as a teenager and was adopted at 17 by a Vermont couple. That year, she was reunited with her brother from whom she and her sister Diana were separated in different foster homes as small children.
Has a brother named Duane and a sister named Diana. Diana is one year younger than she is.
Personal Quotes (3)
I am very proud to have done that. Ricky Martin was so sweet, like so not what I ever expected. And, it definitely helped me get back on my feet financially." - on starring in Ricky Martin's video for "She's All I Ever Had.
The pageant was such a fluke. I mean, I was living in an orphanage, and my foster mother bet me $150 to go out for this thing. Nobody, including myself, thought that a foster kid could be a beauty queen. - on being Miss Teen USA 1993
Ever since I was a little girl, I envisioned this exactly happening to me. Not necessarily doing a movie about strippers but being young and having somebody like a director like Michael see me and see something in me and take a chance. And have a process like we have had. - on her film Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)