Guys, Someone Finally Found Carmen Sandiego!

Photo: Everett Collection.
Through the years, Carmen Sandiego has been more elusive than even the master of disguise, Waldo of Where's Waldo. The fictional character was the star of the PBS television show, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, which premiered in September of 1991. The series even inspired a computer game of the same name.

Players on both the show and the game used their geography and problem-solving skills to help track down the international thief, Carmen. Still, at the end of each episode, or level of the game, we were left to wonder, Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Well, it seems we finally have our answer, thanks to Huffington Post writer Todd Van Luling.

Using only the knowledge gleaned from the television series, Van Luling set out to find which actress was behind the iconic role of Carmen.

Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! This is Carmen Sandiego, guys. She is sneaky. The showrunner's wanted the series to be as believable as possible, so they did not include the actress' name next to her role in the credits. Carmen was supposed to be continuously on the run and an enigma for the audience, which was primarily children. They couldn't expose the kids to the truth and let them see the wizard behind the curtain.

Finally, after working on the case for more than a year, Luling was put in contact with the woman he believed brought Carmen to life. Viewers only saw her briefly, and she was always wearing her character's signature wide-brimmed hat, red trench coat, and black gloves to cover up any traces she may leave behind. Her real identity was a total mystery. Until now.

So, without further adieu, meet the woman behind Carmen Sandiego — Janine LaManna.
Photo Credit: Djamilla Rosa Cochran / Contributor.
Appearing as the evasive, and stealthy Carmen on PBS was LaManna's break-out role. She wasn't upset that she was never credited for playing the character, and remembers her time on the television set fondly.

In the 20 years since the series' final episode, LaManna has married and had two children, the oldest of which is the ideal age to start watching reruns of the show. However, when asked about her current whereabouts, LaManna would not say.

“I can’t really say that I’m in one place or the other, because it could change in a week," she told the reporter.

How very Carmen Sandiego of her. Old habits die hard.

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