Carmen grew up in Coney Island, raised by her mother in an Italian/American family where love for Art and Drama were encouraged. The youngest in a family of four, Carmen's love for acting began very early in life.

Actress, drama coach, teacher, writer, director, began her career as an actress in New York City in 1971 when she appeared in a La Mama/Experimental Theatre Company production with a young Nick Nolte. Bitten by the bug, she appeared in a number of their other productions often times drawing on her interpretive dance and movement background. From that and her experience as a day care teacher she went on to create a workshop for troubled inner city youth in her downtown Brooklyn neighborhood, "Theatre of The Street", where she encouraged kids to tell their stories non-verbally through sounds and movement, the language of the street. Parents loved it and it helped the kids work through their feelings about themselves and their surroundings.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1977, Carmen began studying her craft with The Actors Studio's Salome Jens. She landed roles on TV and appeared in indie films, did voice overs for DIC, and continued on stage. Carmen also devoted herself to the raising of her two children.

Gradually, as fellow actors asked her to direct them in scenes, and encouraged by Lonny Chapman, Carmen discovered that she loved directing even more than acting and has been doing it ever since. Beginning in 1994, Carmen has directed “Show and Tell” at the Group Repertory Theatre in NoHo; “The Three Of Us” and Agatha Christie’s “Witness For The Prosecution” at the Globe Playhouse in West L.A.: “Mrs. Dally Has a Lover” and “Noises Off” at the Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood: John Patrick Shanley’s “dreamer examines his pillow” at the Bitter Truth Theatre and “Happy Birthday” at Actor’s Alley in NoHo; Harold Pinter’s “Old Times” at the El Portal Theatre; Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at the Coronet Theatre in West L.A.; Donald Margulies; “Collected Stories” at Malibu Stage Company and Linda Baggs Escalier’s “Silent Heroes” for the VetStage Company. Carmen’s “Beauty Queen of Leenane" just concluded a successful and well received run at the Malibu Stage Company in June ‘08.

At Theatre East in 2002 Carmen directed “Howl At The Moon”, a series of one-acts which her husband, Sebastian Milito, produced. Also at Theatre East, in 2003 she adapted the 1953 teleplay “Marty” (with special permission from the Chayefsky estate) by Paddy Chayefsky for the stage. The work received tremendous audience response and she was complimented on her adaptation by Delbert Mann, the Academy Award winning director of “Marty”, who was in the audience. Rod Steiger also very graciously agreed to appear on stage and spoke about the making of “Marty” and the Golden Age of Live Television. In 2004 she directed: “An Evening With Marlene: Falling In Love Again” – a musical journey through the loves, songs and life of Marlene Dietrich, written by her husband Sebastian. Carmen cast a singer with the ‘right look’ and from the bottom up transformed her into the complex Dietrich yet managed to avoid caricature. “Marlene” was nominated for two Ovation Awards.

In 2006, Carmen worked with a writer friend to shape a twenty-two minute short comedic film inspired by stories of Carmen's Italian-American family.

“Slice”, which went into production in January 2007, has won several film festival awards, including the MORE/WIF Short Film Contest and has been well received by audiences everywhere it’s shown. With “Slice” her film directorial debut, Carmen, using theatre as her roots, in branching out as a film director and hopes to do more.

Carmen has taught Scene Study and Script Analysis at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in Hollywood and at Theatre East and now Coaches privately. She is a member of The Actors Studio Playwright/Directors Unit, The Lincoln Center Directors Lab West and Women In Film.

© Carmen Milito. All rights reserved.