Forget the leading roles, character roles can also make you a star, and Luis Guzman – one of the most prolific character actors Hollywood has ever seen – is clear proof of this. The Puerto Rican actor is known for his characteristic Wolfman’s face (you can’t miss him in a crowd) and plays the role of a policeman, thug, or henchman of a villain.
Luis Guzman Bio
Luis Guzman was born on August 28, 1956, in Cayey, Puerto Rico. About 15 minutes after his birth, his mother Rosa, a hospital worker, moved to New York, where Guzman was to grow up both in Greenwich Village and on the Lower East Side of the city. His stepfather, Benjamin Cardona, a television repairman, helped him grow up alongside his brother and sister.
Guzman grew up to be a rough child, and at the age of 9, in the 6th grade, he was expelled for two weeks for getting into a brutal fight. However, the words of his school dean after his expulsion forced him to change his life. Guzman opened a new chapter and began to dedicate his time to serving the people in his neighborhood. He helped build abandoned buildings and tended gardens.
After finishing high school, Guzman became a social worker. He got a job as a youth counselor in the Henry Street Settlement, a social-cultural center on the Lower East Side.
But Guzman was not only good at serving people, but he was also a joker who was prone to exaggeration and overplay. As a result, Guzman was attracted to performing and he often went to the Café of Nuyorican Poets, where he met the Cuban poet Miguel Pinero. Guzman then began acting on the side, just for fun. He appeared in street theater and got the role of an extra in the 1977 film Short Eyes.
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In 1985, Guzman received a tip from Pinero that the casting for the television series Miami Vice was on. Guzman passed the audition with flying colors, for which he simply had to put on a grim look. He appeared in two episodes of the series, which became his professional debut. Guzman continued to play for fun because he couldn’t afford to quit his consulting job.
However, after a tragedy struck his home in 1991 when he lost his child, Guzman decided to take acting more seriously. Before that time he had roles in remarkable movies like “True Believer” (1989) and Q&A (1990). Guzman called the latter his groundbreaking film.
Guzman began to turn heads with his performances in films like Carlito’s Way (1993) and The Cowboy Way (1994). Soon big names like Paul Thomas Anderson were added. Anderson picked him up for his second film Boogie Nights (1997). Guzman then appeared in other Anderson projects such as Magnolia (1999) and Punch Drunk Love (2002).
Another famous director, Steven Soderbergh, would prefer Guzman and have him appear in a number of his films, including Out of Sight (1998), The Limey (199) and Traffic (2000). Guzman is still active today, with some of his recent endeavors including television shows, Code Black, Mind Games, and Narcos. He recently appeared on the big screen in 9/11 (2017) and The Padre (2018).
Family: Wife and Children
Guzman is a loyal family man. Since 1985 he has been married to his wife Angelita Galarza-Guzmán, who was born in 1959. After six years of marriage, the couple tried to have children. Unfortunately, their first child, a son, died in 1991 at birth from suffocation.
This experience emotionally devastated Guzmán and forced him to take about two months off work. After that, he returned to Hollywood and took his career more seriously.
In late 1991, Guzman and his wife adopted their first baby named Cemi. They later adopted another child, Yemaya, before adding their half-brothers and half-sisters, the twins Yoruba and Margarita, bringing the number of Guzman’s adopted children to four. In the second attempt, Guzman’s wife found happiness at birth and successfully delivered her first biological baby, Luna, bringing the number of her children to five.
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Luis Guzman Net Worth
With an endless list of filmographies, the productive actor receives paychecks from time to time. His net worth is estimated at 12 to 15 million dollars. Guzman and his family live in a 128-acre, three-story estate in Sutton, Vermont. He calls it his little paradise. The house includes a barn and horse stable.
He stands at 5 feet 7.5 inches tall (1.7 m)
Luis Guzman commented on the character of Ricardo Diaz in “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” and “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories”.
Marlon Brando is his “favorite actor of all time”.
In 2003 Luis briefly owned a TV series at Fox called Luis.
He prefers his first name to be pronounced with an ignored “s”.