John Alberto Leguizamo (/ˌlɛɡwɪˈzɑːmoʊ/; born July 22,
1964) is an American actor, voice artist, stand-up comedian, film
producer, playwright and screenwriter. He came to prominence with a
co-starring role in the action comedy Super
Bros. (1993) as
and a supporting role in the crime drama
Other notable roles include
Sid the Sloth
in the animated Ice Age
films (2002–2016) and the narrator of the sitcom The Brothers
García (2000–2004). As of 2009, he has appeared in over 75 films,
produced over 10 films, starred on Broadway in several productions
(winning several awards), made over 12 television appearances, and has
produced or starred in many other television shows.
1 Early life
2.1 Early career
2.4 Broadway and theater
2.5 On record
3 Personal life
6 External links
Leguizamo was born in Bogotá, the son of Alberto and Luz Leguizamo.
His father was once an aspiring film director and studied at
Cinecittà, but eventually dropped out due to lack of finances.
According to Leguizamo, his paternal grandfather was of Italian and
Puerto Rican descent, and his maternal grandmother was Lebanese.
He has also described himself as being of
Amerindian and Mestizo
heritage. On June 10, 2011, Leguizamo's father declared in an
interview with New York Hispanic newspaper El Diario that he is
Colombian and not Puerto Rican, and that Leguizamo is therefore not
half Puerto Rican as he has always stated. Leguizamo had always
declared that he was Puerto Rican on his father's side, which was one
of the reasons he was selected as the
Puerto Rican Day Parade
Puerto Rican Day Parade Global
Ambassador of the Arts. In response to his father's allegations,
Leguizamo reiterated that his grandfather was of Puerto Rican
descent. A National
Puerto Rican Day Parade
Puerto Rican Day Parade spokesman stated that
Leguizamo would keep his ambassadorship. He marched in the parade on
June 12, 2011.
When Leguizamo was four years old, his family immigrated to the United
States, and lived in various neighborhoods in Queens, New York,
including Jackson Heights. He later credited growing up as one
of the first Latino children in the neighborhood as formative in his
acting ability: "It was tough. There were lots of fights. I would walk
through a park and be attacked, and I had to defend myself all the
time. But this helped me to become funny so that I wouldn’t get
hit." Leguizamo attended the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School
(I.S.145) and later the Murry Bergtraum High School. As a student at
Murry Bergtraum, he wrote comedy material and tested it on his
classmates. He was voted "Most Talkative" by his classmates. After
graduating from high school, he began his theater career as an
undergraduate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, from which he
eventually dropped out in favor of a career in stand-up comedy.
Post-NYU, Leguizamo enrolled at LIU Post, where he took theater
Leguizamo started out as a stand-up comic doing the New York nightclub
circuit in 1984. He made his television debut in 1986 with a small
part in Miami Vice. His other early roles include: a friend of
Madonna's boyfriend in her "Borderline" video (1984); Mixed Blood
(1985), Casualties of War (1989), a terrorist in
Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2 (1990),
Hangin' with the Homeboys
Hangin' with the Homeboys (1991), the robber in Regarding Henry
Mario Bros (1993) and Night Owl (1993).
Leguizamo at the 2010 Tribeca
In 1992, he starred in Whispers in the Dark as John Castillo. In 1993
Leguizamo was offered the lead part as
Luigi in the film Super Mario
Bros., based on the
Mario video game franchise. Despite being
considered a critical and financial failure universally, the film
started his acting career in Hollywood and became one of his memorable
roles. It also provided a boost to his career, allowing him to appear
in better comedic roles in the following years. That same year, he had
a prominent role in Brian De Palma's
Carlito's Way as Carlito
Brigante's nemesis, "Benny Blanco from the Bronx," which also boosted
his career in serious roles.
Leguizamo also starred in
Romeo + Juliet
Romeo + Juliet as
Tybalt Capulet, as
Violator in Spawn, Cholo in Land of the Dead, and Pestario 'Pest'
Vargas in The Pest, the latter being one of his few roles as a lead
actor in a studio film. In 1995, he starred as drag queen Chi-Chi
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar for
which he received a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Supporting Actor,
and starred in the 1996 action film
Executive Decision as Captain Rat.
In 2002, he starred in the movie Empire. To promote the 2001 movie
Moulin Rouge!, he appeared on a celebrity edition of the US version of
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Kelly Ripa, Kevin Sorbo, Alfre
Martin Short and Chevy Chase. Appearing as the first
celebrity to sit in the hot seat, he eventually tried for $125,000,
but got the answer wrong. Later in 2002, on the syndicated version, a
question about the movie featured his character and Meredith Vieira
mentioned that Leguizamo had played Lautrec and had been on the show.
In 2002, he voiced
Sid the Sloth for the film Ice Age, reprising the
role for the sequels Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the
Dinosaurs, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course.
The game versions of the films also used his voice. In 2003, he
Globox from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Leguizamo portrayed
Paul in the Brad Anderson thriller film Vanishing on 7th Street.
In 2007, he played Michael Beltran in the movie The Babysitters. In
2008, he co-starred in the movie The Happening, written and directed
by M. Night Shyamalan. In 2014 Leguizamo starred alongside Jon
Favreau in Chef. Also in 2014, he played a drug dealer in the Jesse
Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart movie American Ultra.
In October 2013, Leguizamo started filming for The Crash, starring
alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Dianna Agron, Ed Westwick,
Minnie Driver, Mary McCormack,
Christopher McDonald and Maggie Q.
The film is directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor,
Atit Shah and Aaron Becker. The Crash is set to release January 13,
In 1995 Leguizamo created, produced, wrote, and starred in the 1995
Latino-oriented variety show called
House of Buggin' on Fox
Television. Some audiences saw this as the Latino version of In Living
Color. The show showcased Leguizamo's well-known ability to assume a
wide variety of colorful, energetic characters, but due to poor
ratings the show ran less than one season.
In 2000, Leguizamo portrayed both Genies in Arabian Nights, a TV
mini-series adaptation of the epic One Thousand and One Nights.
During the 2005–06 television season, Leguizamo joined the cast of
the show ER, playing the emotionally disturbed Dr. Victor Clemente, a
new attending who is keen on introducing the staff of County General
to better ways of treating patients and cutting-edge technology.
Clemente, however, was plagued with personal problems and was fired
from the hospital near the end of the season. Dr. Clemente's departure
from the show was a blessing for Leguizamo. He revealed to CraveOnline
that he was not happy working on the television program. "I was
depressed doing ER," he admitted, "I started gaining weight, I was
eating doughnuts, I started smoking again. I’m eating McDonald's,
things that I know when I’m depressed I do. I tried to kill myself
In 2005, he guest starred on
Dora the Explorer
Dora the Explorer as Captain Pirate
Piggy. In 2006, Leguizamo starred in the television pilot for Edison,
CBS drama about an Los Angeles detective (played by Leguizamo)
who relied on impersonations and disguises to solve crimes. Other cast
Currie Graham and Deidrie Henry. Kevin Rodney
Sullivan directed from a script by Ron Milbauer and Terri Hughes.
David Hoberman also served as executive producers.
In July 2007,
Spike TV aired its drama series The Kill Point, which
starred Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, and Michael Hyatt. The show was an
eight-part series revolving around ex-war veterans whose bank robbery
went wrong, thus ending in a hostage situation. Despite high ratings,
The Kill Point was not renewed for a second season.
In 2008, Leguizamo guest starred on ‘’ Sesame Street’’ as
Captain Vegetable as he encourages Elmo to eat his vegetables.
In 2010, Leguizamo also guest starred on The Electric Company as
himself, rhyming about commas and quotation marks.
In 2012, Leguizamo was cast as Derek Trotter in the American remake of
the British BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses.
In 2016, he played the role Ozzy Delvecchio in the second season of
Netflix original series Bloodline.
Broadway and theater
From left to right: Sara Benincasa, Bob Saget, and Leguizamo on a
"Comedians as Authors" panel at the 2014 Brooklyn Book Festival
In 1991, Leguizamo also wrote and performed in the Off-Broadway
production Mambo Mouth, where he played seven different characters.
Mambo Mouth won an
Obie Award and an Outer Critics Award. He was
listed as one of 12 "Promising New Actors of 1991" in "John Willis'
Screen Worlds Vol. 43".
In 1993, Leguizamo wrote and performed in Spic-O-Rama, where he made
fun of the stereotyping of Latinos in the United States. The
production won a
Drama Desk Award and four Cable ACE Awards. Both
Mambo Mouth and Spic-O-Rama were later filmed for presentation on HBO.
In 1998, he debuted on Broadway in the production of Freak, a
semi-autobiographical one-person play that was recorded for
released on October 10, 1998, with
Spike Lee sitting in as director.
The show won him the
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.
In 2002, he wrote and performed in Sexaholix... A Love Story, which
explained his love life and how he started his own family.
In June 2010, Leguizamo opened his semi-autobiographical one-man
theater show, Klass Klown (later renamed Ghetto Klown), based on his
memoir Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood
Friends: My Life. After the show ran at various theaters in the United
States and Leguizamo performed an "unplugged" version of it under the
John Leguizamo Warms Up at a
Chicago theater, it opened on
Broadway in March 2011 at the Lyceum Theatre. The
show, about Leguizamo's path from obscurity to stardrom, opened to
many positive reviews and was extended through July 10, 2011. A CD of
the show was released. In 2011, Leguizamo received the Outer Critics
Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the Drama Desk
Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for his performance in the
show. In September 2011, Leguizamo began an international tour of
Ghetto Klown in Los Angeles. On July 13, 2012,
PBS debuted Tales
From a Ghetto Klown, a documentary about Leguizamo's life and the
show's development. On November 16, 2013 John taped Ghetto Klown at
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ for HBO.
In 2017, he debuted Latin History for Morons, a show about the
participation of Latin Americans throughout US history. The show
premiered at the
Public Theater before moving to Studio 54. In January
2018, Leguizamo was announced as the host of the 63rd Annual Obie
Awards in May 2018 at Terminal 5.
In 2001, RCA/BMG Records released
John Leguizamo LIVE, a CD
compilation of Leguizamo's stage routines. Among the bits are a primer
Leguizamo gives on the history and culture of Latinos in America,
which with the dubious tale of the mating of an Inca princess with a
Spanish conquistador, thus creating the original dysfunctional Latin
family, each member of which is voiced by Leguizamo. The CD also
includes a musical intermission, with two salsa/hip-hop tunes, "The
Night Before Christmas" and "Gotta Get Some", and footage from
Leguizamo's tours and two interactive games, "Spanish Fly Pick-Up
In late 2017, Leguizamo sang on "Almost Like Praying", a charitable
song created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Proceeds from the song went to the
Hispanic Federation to assist relief efforts for those in Puerto Rico
who were affected by Hurricane Maria.
In October 2006, Leguizamo's memoir, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas and All
the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life, was released. During an
interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he stated that his memoir
was very candid about experiences involving other celebrities he had
worked with. He stated that working with
Arnold Schwarzenegger on
Collateral Damage (2002) was one of the most enjoyable experiences
he'd had as an actor, that Schwarzenegger's accent let him say things
that others would think were sexist or homophobic if said by someone
Steven Seagal was an egotist with diva tendencies, that
Kurt Russell continuously called him a "faggot", and that Leonardo
DiCaprio was a "patron of prostitutes".
In October 2015, Abrams ComicArts published the graphic novel
adaptation of Leguizamo's one-man Broadway show, Ghetto Klown. As with
the live show, the graphic novel explores the actor/comedian's life
and career, beginning with his adolescence in Queens, New York, his
involvement in '80s avant-garde theater, his feature film career, and
some of the colorful characters he encountered throughout his life.
Leguizamo describes the work thusly: "Ghetto Klown is the history that
I probably never should have told anyone but my therapist, but it's a
real lesson that even if you suffer a certain amount (a lot) of
self-doubt and anxiety, you can still accomplish great things. It’s
a lesson I'm really excited to impart to a whole new audience." The
comic is illustrated by Christo Cassano.
Leguizamo married actress Yelba Osorio in 1994. They divorced in 1996
after two years of marriage.
He married Justine Maurer, a costumer on Carlito's Way, in a
Catholic-Jewish ceremony on June 28, 2003; he is Catholic and Maurer
is Jewish. They have two children, daughter Allegra Sky
Leguizamo (born 1999) and son Ryder Lee "Lucas" Leguizamo
(born 2000).  They live in Manhattan, New York.
In 2008, Leguizamo received the
Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence
Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors
Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). In 2011, he
received the Made in NY Award from New York City.
John Leguizamo filmography
John Leguizamo Biography:
Television Actor, Comedian
Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved November
^ Leguizamo, p. 9
^ Leguizamo, John (2006). Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, And All the Rest of
My Hollywood Friends: My Life. New York: Ecco. p. 8.
^ Leguizamo, p. 11
^ a b Zook, Kristal Brent. "Comedy That Hits Close to Home; Now a
John Leguizamo Looks Back Without Anger", The Washington Post,
July 19, 2001. Retrieved June 11, 2009. "Born in Bogota, Colombia, to
a Puerto Rican father and a Colombian mother of Indian ancestry, [John
Leguizamo] was raised in the multiethnic Jackson Heights neighborhood
^ Leguizamo, John (February 8, 1998). "THEATER; In Town, on the Edge:
Listening In on Solo Acts". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21,
^ a b Gratereaux, Alexandra (October 6, 2011). "Leguizamo's Dad:
John's Not Puerto Rican!". Fox News Latino. Retrieved September 8,
^ "Huge crowd for Puerto Rican parade". Eyewitness News. WABC-TV. June
^ Leguizamo, p. 12
^ Leguizamo, p. 16
^ Singh, Anita (January 31, 2012). "Hay Festival Cartagena: John
Leguizamo on Hollywood". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved January 31,
^ "First Images: Brad Anderson's The Vanishing on 7th Street".
^ Gans, Andrew. ""The Happening," with Wahlberg, Leguizamo and
Buckley, Opens Wide June 13". Playbill. Retrieved January 5,
^ Justin Kroll. "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring Frank
Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
^ Kroll, Justin. "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring
Frank Grillo and
Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March
^ Bibbiani, William. "Kill Point: John Leguizamo". Craveonline.com.
Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved October 8,
^ Hurwitt, Robert (June 3, 2010). "
John Leguizamo goes deeper, darker
in 'Klown'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
^ Isherwood, Charles (March 22, 2011). "A Queens Guy Toughs It Out in
Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
^ "John Leguizamo: Klass Klown". Berkeleyrep.org. Retrieved October 8,
John Leguizamo to Play Lyceum Theatre on Broadway Starting Feb.
John Leguizamo honored for one-man play "Ghetto Klown"". Fox News
Latino. May 17, 2011. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011.
Retrieved August 8, 2011.
^ "Drama Desk Awards Go to Book of Mormon, Normal Heart, War Horse,
Sutton Foster, Norbert Leo Butz". Playbill. Archived from the original
on June 29, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
^ Wada, Karen. "
John Leguizamo and 'Ghetto Klown' coming to the
Ricardo Montalban Theatre". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 8,
^ Aucoin, Don (July 12, 2012). "In 'Tales From a Ghetto Klown,'
Broadway minus the glitz". Boston.com (The Boston Globe).
Missing or empty title= (help)
^ Villafañe, Veronica. "
Lin-Manuel Miranda Releases Star-Studded
'Almost Like Praying' Song For Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief". Forbes.
^ "Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online : John Leguizamo
Trashes Everyone He's Ever Worked With". Radar Online. October 27,
2008. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
^ Parkin, JK (January 1, 2015). "Exclusive preview: John Leguizamo's
'Ghetto Klown'". Comic Book Resources.
^ "DOG-LOVER LEGUIZAMO WANTS WIFE TO TAKE A WALK".
^ Ghetto Klown -
HBO - 0:56:00 and 1:20:00
^ "Knot Ready". People.
^ "John Leguizamo". TV Guide.
^ "Art Imitates Life for John Leguizamo".
^ "his daughter, Allegra, 15, and son, Lucas (Ryder Lee), 14" "Little
Palm Island Resort & Spa". Miami Living Magazine.
^ "Lucas Leguizamo - Voice Actor". yatedo.com. Archived from the
original on August 26, 2016.
^ "Lucas Leguizamo - EpicBuzz". Archived from the original on August
^ "Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals".
^ "Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals".
^ "Leguizamo Among Honorees For MADE IN NY Awards". Broadway World.
Retrieved August 9, 2011.
^ Szalai, Georg (June 6, 2011). "Matt Damon, John Leguizamo, Late
Sidney Lumet Honored With 'Made in NY' Awards". The Hollywood
Reporter. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Leguizamo
Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Leguizamo.
John Leguizamo on
John Leguizamo at the Internet Broadway Database
John Leguizamo at Internet
John Leguizamo on IMDb
John Leguizamo on The Happening at nocheLatina.com
Awards for John Leguizamo
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a
Variety or Music Program
Perry Como /
Dinah Shore (1959)
Harry Belafonte (1960)
Fred Astaire (1961)
Carol Burnett (1962)
Carol Burnett (1963)
Danny Kaye (1964)
Art Carney (1967)
Art Carney /
Pat Paulsen (1968)
Arte Johnson /
Harvey Korman (1969)
Harvey Korman (1971)
Harvey Korman (1972)
Tim Conway (1973)
Harvey Korman /
Brenda Vaccaro (1974)
Jack Albertson /
Cloris Leachman (1975)
Chevy Chase /
Vicki Lawrence (1976)
Tim Conway /
Rita Moreno (1977)
Tim Conway /
Gilda Radner (1978)
Sarah Vaughan (1981)
Nell Carter /
André De Shields
André De Shields (1982)
Leontyne Price (1983)
Cloris Leachman (1984)
George Hearn (1985)
Whitney Houston (1986)
Robin Williams (1987)
Robin Williams (1988)
Linda Ronstadt (1989)
Tracey Ullman (1990)
Billy Crystal (1991)
Bette Midler (1992)
Dana Carvey (1993)
Tracey Ullman (1994)
Barbra Streisand (1995)
Tony Bennett (1996)
Bette Midler (1997)
Billy Crystal (1998)
John Leguizamo (1999)
Eddie Izzard (2000)
Barbra Streisand (2001)
Wayne Brady (2003)
Elaine Stritch (2004)
Hugh Jackman (2005)
Barry Manilow (2006)
Tony Bennett (2007)
Don Rickles (2008)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance
Ian McKellen (1984)
Whoopi Goldberg (1985)
Eric Bogosian (1986)
Barbara Cook (1987)
Robert Morse (1990)
Eileen Atkins (1991)
Patrick Stewart (1992)
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith (1993)
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith (1994)
James Lecesne (1995)
Mary Louise Wilson (1996)
Fiona Shaw (1997)
John Leguizamo (1998)
David Hare (1999)
Dame Edna Everage
Dame Edna Everage (2000)
Pamela Gien (2001)
Elaine Stritch (2002)
Tovah Feldshuh (2003)
Jefferson Mays (2004)
Billy Crystal (2005)
Antony Sher (2006)
Vanessa Redgrave (2007)
Laurence Fishburne (2008)
Lorenzo Pisoni (2009)
Jim Brochu (2010)
John Leguizamo (2011)
Cillian Murphy (2012)
Michael Urie (2013)
John Douglas Thompson (2014)
Benjamin Scheuer (2015)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (2016)
Ed Dixon (2017)
ISNI: 0000 0001 1475 6720
BNF: cb14029962b (data)