John Leguizamo Biography

John Leguizamo
John Leguizamo
  • Born July 22, 1964

John Alberto Leguizamo (/ˌlɛɡwɪˈzɑːmoʊ/; Spanish: [leˈɣiːsamo]; born July 22, 1964) is an American actor, stand-up comedian, film producer, playwright, and screenwriter. He came to prominence with a co-starring role in the action comedy Super Mario Bros. (1993) as Luigi and a supporting role in the crime drama Carlito\'s Way (1993). Other 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.\n', '

Leguizamo was born in Bogotá, Colombia, 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 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 spokesman stated that Leguizamo would keep his ambassadorship. He marched in the parade on June 12, 2011.\n', '

When Leguizamo was four years old, his family immigrated to New York City, where they lived in various neighborhoods in Queens, 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 classes.\n', '


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