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John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo is a multi-faceted performer and Emmy Award winner whose diverse career defies categorization. With boundless energy and creativity, his work in film, theatre, television and literature covers a variety of genres while continually threatening to create a few of his own. Leguizamo recently completed two highly anticipated films: M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, opposite Mark Wahlberg which released earlier this year, and Righteous Kill, opposite Oscar winners Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Leguizamo also starred in the independent films Where God Left His Shoes, Franc Reyes' The Ministers and The Take. His next project is on Broadway in David Mamet's American Buffalo.

He was recently seen in Love in the Time of Cholera, the screen adaptation of celebrated writer Gabriel García Márquez's novel. Directed by Mike Newell, the film also starred Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. Leguizamo preceded this project with a leading role in Spike TV's limited series The Kill Point, playing the leader of a gang of thieves who happen to be a team of U.S. soldiers just back from Iraq. Leguizamo also earned rave reviews for his role as a popular TV reporter willing to sacrifice everything to get the story of a notorious serial killer in Crónicas. The film screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and 2004 Toronto Film Festival and was also honored as an Un Certain Regard selection at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Raised in New York City, Leguizamo studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Wynn Handman at New York University. His motion picture credits include George Romero's Land of the Dead, Ed Burns' The Groomsmen, Lies & Alibis, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueño (opposite Elizabeth Peña), Spun, Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge (ALMA nomination, Best Supporting Actor), Spike Lee's Summer of Sam, Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's King of the Jungle (ALMA nomination, Best Lead Actor), the cult hit Spawn, Doctor Dolittle, Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way with Al Pacino and Sean Penn, as well as De Palma's 1988 war saga Casualties of War, also with Penn. For his performance as a sensitive drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, Leguizamo garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The versatile performer also starred in and directed HBO's Undefeated. Leguizamo's directorial debut, the film follows a young Latino boxer dealing with love and career success. The versatile Leguizamo also appeared as a guest star in 12 episodes of NBC's cornerstone drama, ER, during the 2005-2006 season. Other television credits include the ABC miniseries, Arabian Nights, where he played both The Ring Genie and The Lamp Genie in the literary classic. Leguizamo set a precedent by creating and starring in the first Latino comedy/variety show, the Emmy Award-winning House of Buggin' for FOX. In addition to his work in front of the camera, Leguizamo earned raves behind the microphone in Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, in which he reprised his voice role from the original animated hit Ice Age as Sid the Sloth. The films co-starred Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah.

A highly talented stage performer, Leguizamo created an Off-Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his one-man show, Mambo Mouth, in which he portrayed seven different characters. He received Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Vanguardia Awards for his performance. The play's HBO special led to his first television comedy special, Comedy Central's The Talent Pool, for which he received a CableACE Award.

Leguizamo's second one-man show, Spic-O-Rama, had an extended sold-out run in Chicago at the Goodman and Briar Street theaters before opening in New York. The play received numerous accolades, including the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award for Best American Play and the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Broadway Performance. Leguizamo received the Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent, as well as a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance. Spic-O-Rama also aired on HBO, receiving four CableACE Awards.

Freak, Leguizamo's third one-man show, ended a successful run on Broadway in 1998. For the show, billed as a Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography, Leguizamo won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. A special presentation of Freak, directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO and earned Leguizamo the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program, as well as a nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. When Leguizamo returned to Broadway in 2001 with Sexaholix: a Love Story, he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the show received a Tony nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance. It also aired as an HBO special in 2002.

Additional stage credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and La Puta Vida at the New York Shakespeare Festival and Parting Gestures at INTAR.

Also an accomplished author, Leguizamo penned his autobiography, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends. Harper Collins released the fast-paced, hilarious and poignant memoir in October 2006.

Leguizamo was the recipient of the 2002 ALMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
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John Leguizamo Facts

OccupationActor
BirthdayJuly 22, 1964 (53)
SignCancer
BirthplaceBogotá, Colombia
Height5' 8" (1m73)  How tall is John Leguizamo compared to you?
Social Media JohnLeguizamo

Selected Filmography

The Infiltrator
American Ultra
Ice Age: Collision Course
A.C.O.R.N.S.: Operation Crackdown
Sisters
Moulin Rouge
John Wick: Chapter 2
Ice Age: The Meltdown
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Ice Age
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