Rosie Perez biography
SynopsisBorn Rosa Maria Perez on September 6, 1964, in New York City. Spike Lee discovered Rosie Perez in a nightclub and her career path radically changed. She starred in his film Do the Right Thing and doors opened. She has starred in several films and w
Actor, choreographer, director. Born Rosa Maria Perez on September 6, 1964, in New York, New York. Originally Perez wanted to be a marine biologist and she got into acting by accident. Director Spike Lee saw her in a nightclub and hired her for the 1989 film Do the Right Thing, which explored what could happen when racial tensions explode on a hot summer day. More film roles and television guest spots soon followed. She appeared on 21 Jump Street and became the choreographer for the show In Living Color, which earned her three Emmy nominations. She also starred in White Men Can't Jump (1992) with Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes and Untamed Heart (1993) with Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater.
It was her dramatic turn in Fearless (1993) that earned her first Oscar nomination. Starring with Jeff Bridges, Perez played a plane crash survivor wracked with guilt of the death of her child, also in the crash. She has also lent her distinctive voice to a number of different projects, including The Road to El Dorado (2000).
While she continues to act, Perez has devoted some of her time to special projects and causes. With Liz Garbus, she directed the 2006 documentary Yo Soy Boricua, Pa' Que Tu Lo Sepas!, which explores Puerto Rican culture. She has been an AIDS activist for many years and serves on the artistic board of Working Playground, a cultural organization that provides arts education to underprivileged children in New York City.