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Rosie Pérez

Pérez at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Rosa María Pérez
September 6, 1964 (1964-09-06) (age 45)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Other name(s) Rosie Pérez
Occupation Actress, dancer, choreographer, director, activist
Years active 1989 – present
Spouse(s) Seth Zvi Rosenfeld (divorced)

Rosa María "Rosie" Pérez (born September 6, 1964) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and community activist.


Early life

Pérez was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick to Puerto Rican parents. Her mother Lydia Pérez (née Fontañez), a singer, was married to Ventura Pérez at the time of Rosie's birth. However, Rosie's biological father is Ismael Serrano, a Merchant Marine with whom her mother had had an affair. Much of her young life was spent in foster care.[1][2][3] She attended the Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, New York and a community college in Los Angeles.[4]


Pérez started her career in the late 1980s as a dancer on Soul Train and has choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys. She was the choreographer for the dancing group the Fly Girls who were featured on every performance of In Living Color. She was noticed in a dance club by Spike Lee in 1989, who hired her for her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing.

She made her Broadway debut in Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Perez had her third major role in the hit comedy White Men Can't Jump co-starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.

Pérez was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Peter Weir's 1993 film Fearless. In 1997 she starred in Perdita Durango, a controversial film in which many scenes of excessive violence, sex and nudity were edited out of the version released in the United States, but remained intact in the version released throughout Latin America.

She provides the voices of Click, the camera, on Nick Jr.'s Go Diego Go! and Chel, a beautiful native woman in the DreamWorks Animation film The Road to El Dorado. She played corrupt police officer Carol Brazier in the Judd Apatow-produced film Pineapple Express co-starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. It was announced in August 2009 that Perez would appear on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in October 2009 about pedophiles' rights. Executive producer Neil Baer said the writers had Perez in mind when they wrote the role of a young sexual abuse victim’s mother.[5] Most recently, Perez is the subject of a soon to be released album by Felt entitled "Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez."


Pérez is an activist for Puerto Rican rights. Her film Yo Soy Boricua! Pa' Que Tú Lo Sepas! (I'm Puerto Rican, Just So You Know!) documents her activism. She starred in and directed the Spanish AIDS PSA campaign "Join the Fight" for Cable Positive and Kismet Films. The campaign featured actor Wilmer Valderrama, BET's Julissa Bermudez, Telenovela actor Erick Elias, singer/actress Lorena Rojas, 2006-2007 Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, and actress Judy Marte. An English-language campaign was also directed by Liev Schreiber. President Barack Obama appointed her to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). She was sworn in on February 2, 2010.

On January 6, 2000, she was arrested for disorderly conduct in Manhattan following a rally to protest U.S. Navy air weapons training, as well as other forms of payload on the government training range owned at Vieques, itself a small island off the coast of then-Roosevelt Roads Naval Station ("Rosie Roads" itself was built in eastern Puerto Rico near Ceiba, Puerto Rico, as a result of World War I in 1919, and was important to the anti-Hitler effort in World War II — and other national protection efforts since until its recent closure).






  • Yo Soy Boricua! Pa' Que Tu Lo Sepas! (I'm Boricua, Just So You Know!) (2005)


See also


External links

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