Rosie Perez

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Rosie Perez
Perez smiling
Perez at the New York premiere of Won't Back Down in 2012.
BornRosa Maria Perez[1]
(1964-09-06) September 6, 1964 (age 49)[1]
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, United States
OccupationActress, dancer, choreographer, director, activist
Years active1989–present
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Rosie Perez
Perez smiling
Perez at the New York premiere of Won't Back Down in 2012.
BornRosa Maria Perez[1]
(1964-09-06) September 6, 1964 (age 49)[1]
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, United States
OccupationActress, dancer, choreographer, director, activist
Years active1989–present

Rosa Maria "Rosie" Perez (born September 6, 1964)[1] is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, director and community activist.

Early life[edit]

Perez was born in Brooklyn, New York, in the neighborhood of Bushwick, to Puerto Rican parents:[1] Rosie was born to Lydia Perez;[2][3] her father is Ismael Serrano,[2][3][4] a merchant marine seaman.[4] She was transferred to a group foster home[clarification needed] at age 8.[2]

Because of problems in her life, Perez ended up having a speech impediment.[1] She eventually moved in with an aunt.[1] She attended Grover Cleveland High School, which is located in Ridgewood, in the New York City borough of Queens, and Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California.[5][verification needed]



Perez was first noticed in a dance club by Spike Lee in 1988, who hired her for her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing.[6] Perez started her career in the late 1980s as a dancer on Soul Train and later choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys.[citation needed] She was the choreographer for the dancing group the Fly Girls who were featured on the Fox television comedy program In Living Color.

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

Perez 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.[citation needed]

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. Perez appeared on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in October 2009 about pedophiles' rights. Executive producer Neal Baer said the writers had Perez in mind when they wrote the role of a young sexual abuse victim's mother.[7] She suffered a serious injury during the filming of the episode.[8] Most recently, Perez is the subject of a released album by Felt entitled Felt 3: A Tribute To Rosie Perez.


Rosie Perez was injured in 2009 while filming an episode of Law & Order SVU. Her neck was injured when she was forcibly shaken as part of a scene. She had herniated a disc in her neck and underwent surgery for the condition. A year after the accident, she appeared at the White House in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace for a meeting with President Obama.[9] In May 2011, Perez filed a lawsuit against the producers of the show, claiming that the injury she incurred was the result of being "recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and manhandled" during filming.[10]


It became apparent in October 2012 that Rosie Perez is a massive fan of the sport of boxing. She joined Twitter and almost immediately began tweeting about the fights. In the time since, she has become one of the more well-known celebrity boxing fans out there. In June 2013, Perez served as the grand marshal for the International Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota, New York. According to an interview at boxing website, Perez received a call from IBHOF member Steve Farhood about partaking in the festivities.[11]


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

Rosie Perez cites her career in activism as the inspiration behind her memoir Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) On February 25, 2014 she gave an interview to The Brooklyn Rail and discussed why she decided to share her raw childhood trauma in her memoir "It was more, let me tell my family and the people that I love and are most dear to me what really happened. God forbid anything happens to me, I didn’t want to be an enigma or a mystery to the people that I love. It really wasn’t for the public but as I continued writing this, I realized that with my second career—which is activism and charity—I felt a nagging conviction to share."

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, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico.[citation needed]

Perez serves as the chair of the artistic board for Urban Arts Partnership,[12] a New York City arts education nonprofit that uses arts integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.

Personal life[edit]

On September 16, 2013, Perez revealed to omg!INSIDER that she married artist Eric Haze the previous Sunday morning in Las Vegas, Nevada. While attending the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez fight in Vegas on that Saturday, Haze and Perez decided to stay over and get married at the MGM Grand the following day.[13] She was previously married to filmmaker and playwright Seth Zvi Rosenfeld but the couple divorced in 2001.[14]


1989Do the Right ThingTina
1991Night on EarthAngela
1992White Men Can't JumpGloria ClementeNominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993Untamed HeartCindyNominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
FearlessCarla RodrigoBerlin International Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance (Special Mention)
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress tied with Anna Paquin
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1994It Could Happen to YouMuriel Lang
Somebody to LoveMercedes
1997A Brother's KissDebbie
Perdita DurangoPerdita DurangoFantafestival Award for Best Actress
1999The 24 Hour WomanGrace SantosAlso Producer
Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Actress
2000The Road to El DoradoChelVoice
2001Human NatureLouise
Riding in Cars with BoysShirley Perro
2003From the 104th FloorNarratorVoice
2005All the Invisible ChildrenRuthieSegment "Jesus Children of America"
Yo soy Boricua, pa'que tu lo sepas!HerselfDirector
Just Like the SonMrs. Ponders
2008The TakeMarina De La PenaNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Pineapple ExpressOfficer Carol Brazier
2012Won't Back DownBrenna Harper
2013The CounselorRuth
TV Films
1990Criminal JusticeBarbara Von Busch
1995In a New Light: Sex UnpluggedHerselfHost
1997Subway Stories: Tales from the UndergroundMystery GirlAlso producer
Segment "Love on the A Train"
Lackawanna BluesBerthaTelevision Movie
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
2006Lolo's CafeMariaVoice
2009Exit 19Lorna
2010Lies in Plain SightMarisol ReyesGracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama Special
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated—Imagen Foundation Award for Best Actress – Television
199021 Jump StreetRosie MartinezEpisode "2245"
1990In Living ColorHerselfNominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography (1990, 1992, 1993)
choreographer, seasons 1–4
1990–1991WIOULucy HernandezEpisodes "Without Prejudice"
"Labored Relations"
"Mother Nature's Son"
"They Shoot Sources, Don't They"
1995–1997Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildThumbelina / WitchEpisodes "Thumbelina"
"Hanselito y Gretelita"
2002WidowsLinda PerelliEpisodes "Hour One"
"Hour Two"
"Hour Three"
"Hour Four"
1995–2004FrasierFrancesca / LizbethEpisodes "Roz in the Doghouse (1995)"
"Crock Tales (2004)"
2005–2008Go, Diego, Go!Click, the cameraEpisodes "Diego Saves the Humpback Whale"
"Linda the Llama Saves Carnaval"
"Diego's Wolf-Pup Rescue"
"The Bobos' Mother's Day"
"Tuga Helps the Moon"
"Freddie the Fruit Bat Saves Halloween!"
2008–2009Lipstick JungleDahlia MoralesNominated—ALMA Award for Best Actress in Television – Comedy
Episodes "Pandora's Box"
"Let It Be"
"The F-Word"
"The Lyin', the Bitch and the Wardrobe Dahlia Morales"
"La Vie En Pose"
2009Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEva BanksEpisodes "Hardwired"
2011–2012The Cleveland ShowChoni / Aunt ChonieEpisodes "There Goes El Neighborhood"
"Y Tu Junior Tambien"
Episode #3.11
2012Nurse JackieJulesEpisodes "Slow Growing Monsters"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rosie Perez biography". A+E Networks. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  2. ^ a b c Gonzalez, Juan (July 7, 2000). "ROSIE, HER MOM & AIDS Activist Perez shuns mom who's dying of the disease". Daily News (New York). 
  3. ^ a b Gonzalez, Juan (July 8, 2000). "Rosie Helped Mom, Aids Groups Say". Daily News (New York City). Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  4. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (March 22, 1994). "Quake or No Quake, the Show Must Go On". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood – Clara E. Rodriguez – Google Books". 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  6. ^ "How I Made It: Spike Lee on 'Do the Right Thing'" April 7, 2008, New York Magazine
  7. ^ O'Connor, Mickey (2009-08-20). "SVU Exclusive: Rosie Perez, Garret Dillahunt to Anchor Explosive Episode". Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  8. ^ Parvizi, Lauren (2010-07-19). "Rosie Perez goes public with neck scar". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  9. ^ Rosie Perez Injured doing her own SVU stunt USA Today, July 15, 2010
  10. ^ Perez suing "Law & Order" over shooting injuries AHN, May 19, 2011
  11. ^ Ortega, Mark E. (2013-06-12). "Famous Fight Fan: Rosie Perez | RingTV". Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  12. ^ "Artistic Board Chair Rosie Perez was featured in the Reader’s Digest “Best of America” issue | Urban Arts Partnership". Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  13. ^ Williams, Ashley (2013-09-16). "Rosie Perez Ties The Knot In Vegas!". HipHollywood. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  14. ^ Diaz, Evelyn (2013-08-22). "Rosie Perez Is Married | News". BET. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 

External links[edit]