Luis Guzmán

Puerto Rican actor

Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzman 2012.jpg
Guzmán in February 2012 at the French premiere of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Born (1956-08-28) August 28, 1956 (age 66)
EducationThe American University
Years active1976–present

Luis Guzmán (born August 28, 1956) is a Puerto Rican actor. His career spans over forty years and includes dozens of films and television shows.

Guzmán is a frequent collaborator of directors Steven Soderbergh, having starred in his films Out of Sight (1998), The Limey (1999), for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male, and Traffic (2000), and Paul Thomas Anderson, with starring roles in his films Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), and Punch-Drunk Love (2002). His other commercially successful starring film roles include The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012).

In television, he has starred in two HBO original series, How to Make It in America and Oz, the Netflix series Narcos, and in the CBS medical drama Code Black, where he portrayed senior nurse Jesse "Mama" Salander. He co-starred on Cameron Crowe's Roadies, a comedy-drama on Showtime, as Gooch, a seasoned crew tour bus driver.

Early life

Guzmán was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, and was raised in New York City's Greenwich Village and the surrounding Lower East Side neighborhood. His mother, Rosa, was a hospital worker, and his stepfather, Benjamin Cardona, was a TV repairman.[1] Guzmán graduated from The American University and shortly after began his career as a social worker and moonlighted as an actor, eventually becoming heavily involved in street theater and independent films.[2]


Guzmán at the 2009 premiere of Whatever Works.

Guzman's numerous movie credits include Carlito's Way, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, Punch-Drunk Love, Welcome to Collinwood, Stonewall, Waiting..., The Salton Sea, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.[3][4] He has also appeared on the TV shows Homicide: Life on the Street, Frasier, Community and Oz and voiced Ricardo Diaz in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its prequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. Guzmán starred in the short-lived 2003 television comedy Luis, and is a commentator on VH1's I Love the '80s, as well as I Love Toys and its sequels, including I Love the '70s and I Love the '90s. He co-starred on the 2007 HBO series John from Cincinnati, which lasted one season.

In early 2008, Guzmán starred in "Naturally Aged Cheddar Hunks" TV ads for Cabot Creamery.[5] He also appeared in the music video "Yes We Can." In 2010, he starred in HBO's How to Make It in America and appeared in a comical series of Snickers commercials that played during that year's Super Bowl.[6][7]

Personal life

Guzmán resides in Cabot, Vermont.[8]

Guzmán endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[9]

In 2018, Guzmán, along with New York Yankees all-star Bernie Williams, appeared in a Season 6 episode of Jon Taffer's "Bar Rescue," offering assistance not only to the El Krajo Tavern in Loiza, but the town's community center, after it was devastated from Hurricane Maria.

During Telegramgate, Guzmán was interviewed by MSNBC for his opinions on the situation in Puerto Rico and he expressed that 'Ricky had to go' and that corruption on the island was a major issue that he hoped would be solved.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 Short Eyes Prisoner
1983 Variety Jose
1986 Seven Women, Seven Sins Lotto Man
No Picnic Arroyo
1987 Heartbeat Gang Member #2 Video
*batteries not included Bystander
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Jose
1989 True Believer Ortega
Rooftops Martinez
Black Rain Frankie
Family Business Julio Torres
1990 Q&A Detective Valentin
1991 The Hard Way Detective Benny Poole, NYPD
McBain Papo
1992 To Catch a Killer Waiter TV Movie
Quiet Killer Adelaido Ortiz TV Movie
In The Shadow of a Killer Louis Velazquez TV Movie
Innocent Blood Morales
Empire City - TV Movie
Jumpin' at the Boneyard Taxi Driver
1993 Guilty as Sin Detective Martinez
Double Deception Ronald Sharkey TV Movie
Naked in New York Auditioner
Mr. Wonderful Juice
Carlito's Way Pachanga
1994 Hand Gun Rick
The Cowboy Way Chango
The Burning Season Estate Boss TV Movie
El vagabundo con suerte Luis
1995 Lotto Land Ricki
Stonewall Vito
1996 The Substitute "Rem"
On Seventh Avenue Eddie Diaz TV Movie
1997 The Brave Luis
Pronto Buck Torres TV Movie
Boogie Nights Maurice t.t. Rodriguez
1998 Out of Sight Chino
Snake Eyes Cyrus, Drug Dealer
One Tough Cop Gunman Papi
King of New York - TV Movie
1999 Mind Prey Detective Black TV Movie
The Limey Eduardo Roel
The Bone Collector Eddie Ortiz
Magnolia Luis
2000 Table One Xavier
Luckytown Jimmy
Thin Air Chollo TV Movie
Traffic DEA Agent Ray Castro
2001 Double Whammy Juan Benitez
Sam the Man Murray
Home Invaders Peligro
2002 The Count of Monte Cristo Jacopo
The Salton Sea Quincy
Punch-Drunk Love Lance
Welcome to Collinwood Cosimo
The Adventures of Pluto Nash Felix Laranga
2003 Confidence Officer Omar Manzano
Anger Management Lou
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Ray Christmas
Runaway Jury Jerry Hernandez
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Bald Man
2005 Dreamer Balon
Carlito's Way: Rise to Power "Nacho" Reyes Video
Waiting... Raddimus
2006 Disappearances Brother St. Hilaire
Fast Food Nation Benny
School for Scoundrels Sergeant Moorehead
Hard Luck "Million Dollar" Mendez Video
Lolo's Cafe Lolo (voice) TV Short
2007 Maldeamores Ismael
War (AKA Rogue Assassin) Benny
Cleaner Detective Vargas
2008 I Kicked Luis Guzman in the Face Luis Short
Chicano Blood Mexican Mule #1 Video
Beverly Hills Chihuahua Chucho (voice)
Nothing like the Holidays Johnny
Yes Man Jumper
2009 He's Just Not That Into You Javier
Still Waiting... Raddimus Video
Fighting Martinez
The Taking of Pelham 123 Phil Ramos
Old Dogs Nick
2011 Arthur Bitterman
The Caller George
Rise of the Damned Ramon
2012 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Gabato Laguatan
Counter Culture Alonzo TV Movie
Departure Date Frank Short
2013 The Last Stand Deputy Mike Figuerola
Turbo Angelo (voice)
We're the Millers Mexican Cop
2014 Two Men in Town Terence
In the Blood Chief Ramón Garza
The Lookalike Vincent
Henry & Me Vernon "Lefty" Gomez (voice)
Top Five Bobby the Cop
Reclaim Superintendent
2015 Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha Farmer
Ana Maria in Novela Land Licenciado Schmidt
Puerto Ricans in Paris Luis
2016 Keanu Bacon
The Do-Over Jorge the Shooter Boy
Aztec Warrior Aztec Warrior
2017 Sandy Wexler Oscar
Literally, Right Before Aaron Federico
9/11 Eddie
2018 The Padre Gaspar
Belleville Cop Ricardo Garcia
The Duck Leonard Short
2019 Hold On Pastor Rivera [11]
2021 Lady of the Manor Wally
The Birthday Cake Jochee
2022 Havoc -
TBA Bread and Games Martin


Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Equalizer Gypsy Cabbie Episode: "The Lock Box"
1985–86 Miami Vice Goon #1 / Miguel Revilla 2 Episodes
1990 Hunter Carlos Delgado Episode: "La Familia"
1991 Monsters Luis Episode: "Desirable Alien"
Law & Order Cesar Pescador Episode: "Heaven"
1992 Civil Wars Hector Rodriguez Episode: "Tape Fear"
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street Lorenzo Molera Episode: "Son of a Gun"
Walker, Texas Ranger Gomez Episode: "Storm Warning"
NYPD Blue Hector Martinez 2 Episodes
1994 seaQuest DSV General Guzmano Episode: "The Good Death"
1995 House of Buggin' Various Roles Main Cast
1995–96 New York Undercover Joaquin/Detective Lopez 2 Episodes
1998 Early Edition John Hernandez Episodes: "The Quality of Mercy"
Michael Hayes Santos Episodes: "Vaughn Mowery"
Trinity - Episodes: "In a Yellow Wood"
1998–01 Oz Raoul "El Cid" Hernandez Guest: Season 2, Supporting Cast: Seasons 3-4
2000 The Huntress Paulie Dortmunder Episodes: "Pilot"
The Beat - Episodes: "Cueca Solo"
2002 Frasier George Episode: "Enemy at the Gate"
2003 Luis Luis Cortez Main Cast
2007 John from Cincinnati Ramon Gaviota Main Cast
2010–11 How to Make It in America Rene Calderon Main Cast
2011 Community Himself Episode: "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux"
2013 Republic of Doyle Charles Alomar Episode: "The Devil Inside"
2014 Mind Games Nate Recurring Cast
2015 Narcos José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha Recurring Cast: Season 1
2015–18 Code Black Jesse Salander Main Cast
2016 Roadies Gooch Recurring Cast
2018 The Untitled Action Bronson Show Himself Episode: "An Australian Surprise and Luis Guzmán"
Bar Rescue Himself Episode: "Operation: Puerto Rico"
2019 Perpetual Grace, LTD Hector Contreras Main Cast
Godfather of Harlem Alejandro "El Guapo" Villabuena Recurring Cast: Season 1
Shameless Mikey O'Shea Recurring Cast: Season 9-10
2020 The Eric Andre Show Himself Episode: "Named After My Dad's P*nis"
Louey & Bri TV Various Main Cast
2021 Ultra City Smiths Rodrigo Smalls (voice) Main Cast
Hightown Jorge Cuevas Recurring Cast: Season 2
2022 The Resort Illan Iberra Hünch fò Llub Sēēth
2022 Wednesday Not yet released Gomez Addams Main role[12]

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Ricardo Díaz Voice
2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Music videos

Year Title Role Notes
2002 "Undisputed" Prisoner
2013 "Gorilla" Strip Zoo Owner
2017 "1-800-273-8255" Track Coach
2018 "Está Rico" Gambler

Awards and nominations

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
1998 Florida Film Critics Circle Award Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast "Boogie Nights" Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2000 Independent Spirit Award Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male "The Limey" Nominated
Awards Circuit Community Awards Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Cast Ensemble "Magnolia" Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture "Traffic" Won
2003 Imagen Awards Imagen Award Best Supporting Actor "Punch-Drunk Love" Won
2008 Imagen Awards Imagen Award for Best Actor "Maldeamores" Won
2010 ALMA Awards ALMA Award for Best Supporting Actor "The Taking of Pelham 123" Nominated
2011 NAMIC Visions Awards NAMIC Visions Awards Best Performance in a Comedy "How to Make It in America" Won

See also


  1. ^ "Luis Guzman Biography (1957?-)". Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  2. ^ "Luis Guzman, Visiting Faculty, MFA in Film". Vermont College of Fine Arts. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  3. ^ "Actor Luis Guzmán had a very different job before Hollywood. He drew on it for 'Hold On.'". NBC News.
  4. ^ BWW News Desk. "Based On A True Story, Independent Film HOLD ON Opens 12/06".
  5. ^ Swansburg, John "Cheese Puff" (January 18, 2008). Retrieved on May 1, 2008.
  6. ^ "Snickers Ad Starring Luis Guzmán from Super Bowl 2020 Ads". E! News.
  7. ^ "Snickers TV Commercial, '#SnickersFixedTheWorld: Online Date' Featuring Luis Guzman".
  8. ^ "Legislative Documents". Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Bernie Sanders campaign taps Rosario Dawson, Luis Guzman to woo Latino voters in LA". Los Angeles Daily News. May 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "Luis Guzman on Ricardo Rossello and protests in San Juan". July 21, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Actor Luis Guzmán had a very different job before Hollywood. He drew on it for 'Hold On.'".
  12. ^ "Netflix's Addams Family Spin-off Wednesday Adds Comedian Luis Guzman". Gizmodo. Retrieved August 8, 2021.

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