Caitlin Sanchez (born January 17, 1996)[1] is an American actress, best known for the voice of the title character Dora in the Nickelodeon animated series for children Dora the Explorer.


Caitlin was born in Englewood, New Jersey to Cuban American parents.[2][3] As of 2008, Caitlin was being home schooled, and is a resident of Fairview, in Bergen County, New Jersey.[4][1]

She is a jazz fan who has played the piano since she was five and enjoys listening to the music of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk and vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. When NPR's Siegel indicated that it was unusual for someone her age to be a fan of Thelonious Monk, Caitlin responded that "He has this really unique style. He kind of hits the piano really hard. And I love his offbeats. Sometimes he goes on-beat; sometimes he goes off. He's full of surprises."[4]


In 2008, Sanchez took over the voice role of the seven-year-old lead character in Dora the Explorer.[2] She was selected from among 600 girls who auditioned for the part.[3]

Interviewed on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Sanchez told host Robert Siegel that the show first aired when she was four-years old and that she had grown up watching the program.[4] She recounted having a Dora-themed bedroom, curtains and backpack when she was younger.[3]

Sanchez's other TV work includes guest-starring as Lupe Rojas in an episode of Law & Order: SVU,Script error and appearing as Celia, the daughter of Carlos Ponce's character, on Lipstick Jungle.[5] Her film work includes the film Phoebe in Wonderland.

Sanchez performed the National Anthem for a New Jersey Nets game on November 21, 2009.[6]

2010 Nickelodeon lawsuit

On October 6, 2010, Sanchez filed a 41-page complaint in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York against Nickelodeon and its corporate parents Viacom and subsidiary MTV Networks for suit claiming that they had duped her into signing a "bizarre, impenetrable, unconscionable" contract, in which she states she was not adequately compensated for merchandising, re-runs, promotional work and recordings (including overtime) for her work on Dora the Explorer. The complaint states that Sanchez was only paid $40 per day for travel (which Nickelodeon contends was for incidental expenses), and worked more than 100 Dora the Explorer promotional events without pay. In a statement, Nickelodeon said that "[Sanchez] was well-compensated for her work and for personal appearances." [7] The complaint also states that Sanchez and her parents were not given enough time to seek a lawyer's advice on her contract with Dora the Explorer and were “pressured to sign within a half-hour of first seeing” the contract. Sanchez claims that Nickelodeon representatives pressured her into signing a contract that paid her $5,000 per episode. Nickelodeon responded to the suit stating that "the claims being made are baseless. Unfortunately, Caitlin's voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role.” The lawsuit has not yet made it to court. Sanchez is seeking an award of 7 million dollars.[8]

Awards and nominations

  • 2009 40th NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program for Dora the Explorer
  • 2009 Imagen Awards: Best Actress/Television for Dora the Explorer
  • 2010 41st NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program for Dora the Explorer
  • 2010 Imagen Awards: Best Actress/Television for Dora the Explorer


  1. 1.0 1.1 "La nueva voz de "Dora, la exploradora" la hace una niña cubano-estadounidense", Terra Networks, December 4, 2008. Accessed December 30, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shipkowski, Bruce. "Millions listen when this Fairview girl speaks", The Record (Bergen County), November 23, 2008. Accessed December 30, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Faherty, Emily. "Call Me Dora", New Jersey Monthly, posted October 13, 2008. Accessed December 30, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Staff. "12-Year-Old Fan Of Jazz's Monk Is New 'Dora'", All Things Considered, December 29, 2008. Accessed December 30, 2008.
  5. Boursaw, Jane. "Exclusive: Interview with Caitlin Sanchez, the new Dora the Explorer!", Film Gecko. Accessed December 30, 2008.
  6. "NETS: Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer to visit Kids' Country during NETS-Knicks Game", November 19, 2009
  7. "Nickelodeon fires back at 'Dora the Explorer' teen Caitlin Sanchez suit: Pay fine, but her voice not", New York Daily News. Accessed October 8, 2010.
  8. "Voice of 'Dora' slaps Nickelodeon with lawsuit", Accessed October 8, 2010.

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name

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