A tall, slender character player whose olive complexion, severe eyebrows and wide, etched cheekbones make her a natural for ethnic roles, Roma Maffia had played small parts in three movies (including a prostitute in her debut, Susan Seidelman's "Smithereens" 1982) and worked on TV, but her career did not really take off until Ron Howard "discovered" her and cast her as an eager, loud-mouthed reporter in "The Paper" (1994). That same year, she displayed her grit as a steel-and-sparks lawyer defending Michael Douglas against Demi Moore's accusations of sexual harassment in Barry Levinson's "Disclosure". Since then, she has had little time to return to her stage roots, an Off-Broadway and regional theater background that saw her act in productions of "Street Venus", "Fool for Love", and "The Caucasian Chalk Circle", among others.
Maffia became a TV series regular in the high-toned medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS), playing a harried hospital administrator whose clandestine affair with a doctor helped bring on his heart attack and left them stuck in the MRI machine. As the struggling show ordered more doctors, she left the series altogether after only six episodes to pursue some of the many opportunities coming her way. She appeared in the features "Nick of Time" (1995), as Christopher Walken's cold-blooded henchwoman, and "Kiss the Girls" (1997), and of her many TV-movies, "The Heidi Chronicles" (TNT, 1995) and "The Defenders: Payback" (Showtime, 1997) stand out as particularly noteworthy. Maffia returned to the series ranks as a regular for NBC's "Profiler" (1996-2000), portraying forensic pathologist Grace Alvarez. During and after her regular TV stint Maffia also appeared in character roles in several feature films, most notably "Double Jeopardy" (1999), "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her" (2001), "I Am Sam" (2001) and "Holes" (2002). Maffia then landed her most visible role to date when she was cast as the caustic lesbian anethesiologist on the hip, edgy f/x drama "Nip/Tuck" (2003 - ).