Luis Guzman

Luis Guzman
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Name: Luis Guzman

Who is:

Birth date: (67 y.o.)

Place of birth: Cayey, Puerto Rico

Height: 5'5 ft ()

Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)

Relationship: married

Birth Sign:

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Luis Guzman: opinions

Luis Guzmán Biography

Luis Guzmán is an American actor of Puerto Rican descent, who has appeared in films such as "Crocodile Dundee II", "Carlito's Way", and "Boogie Nights". He often portrayed secondary characters - gangsters, in which he was quite convincing due to his distinctive appearance, or policemen, but was later invited for leading roles, for example, in the drama "John from Cincinnati" or the thriller "Perpetual Grace, LTD". He is also known for his role as Gomez Addams in Tim Burton's series "Wednesday".
Luis Guzman
Luis Guzman

Childhood, Youth, Family

Luis was born in the summer of 1956 to hospital worker Rosa Guzman from the small town of Cayey in Puerto Rico. In one interview, the actor said that his mother "15 minutes after giving birth" packed up and flew to New York with her newborn.

In New York, Rosa met a TV repairman, Benjamin Cardona, who soon became Luis's stepfather. The childhood and teenage years of the future actor were spent in the west of Lower Manhattan, in the Greenwich Village area. It was there that the beatnik movement emerged in the late 50s.
Luis Guzman as a child
Luis Guzman as a child
As a child, Luis was a troublemaker. At the age of nine, he was suspended from school for a brutal fight. After this, the boy got his act together, started volunteering in his youth: he helped rebuild abandoned houses and took care of other people's gardens.

Guzman studied at the oldest college of the City University of New York, and after graduating, he got a job in social services, worked with youth, helping them to choose a career.
Luis Guzman in his youth
Luis Guzman in his youth
The social worker's job came in handy when creating convincing characters later, when he started doing part-time work in street theater and took his first steps in independent cinema.

Acting Career

Guzman has always stood out from the crowd not only for his looks but also for his charisma and sense of humor, which ultimately led him to the stage. For many years, he dabbled in theater and later film purely for amusement, while his main occupation remained social work.
Young Luis Guzman
Young Luis Guzman
At the age of 19, Luis Guzman made his film debut by playing a prisoner in Robert M. Young’s prison drama "Short Eyes". The role was small, but it marked the beginning, although Guzman reappeared on screen only seven years later - in Bette Gordon's independent drama "Variety".

A more noticeable role, a drug lord named Miguel Revilles, fell to him in the crime TV series "Miami Vice". The casting director asked Luis to "kill him with one look" and immediately approved him for the role.
Luis Guzman in the series “Miami Vice”
Luis Guzman in the series “Miami Vice”
In the future, the actor did not shy away from the image of the "bad guy". He was often offered corresponding roles due to his memorable "villainous" appearance. But even in the images of "bad guys", he added humanity, skillfully balancing between aggression and humor.
Luis Guzman in the movie “Crocodile Dundee II”
Luis Guzman in the movie “Crocodile Dundee II”
He played a small role as Jose in the comedy action movie "Crocodile Dundee II" (1988) with Paul Hogan. In 1989, Guzman could be seen in the drama "True Believer" based on real events, the crime musical "Rooftops" and the comedy "Family Business".
Luis Guzman in the movie “True Believer”
Luis Guzman in the movie “True Believer”
In 1991, a tragedy occurred in Luis's life, dividing it into "before" and "after". He and his wife were expecting their first child, but something went wrong during childbirth, and the boy did not survive. Guzman took a three-month leave, and when he returned to work, the first person he saw was a 17-year-old girl with a baby in her arms.
… It was 9 a.m., and she was sitting eating cake and drinking cola. And it broke my heart, because my wife took such good care of herself and the baby during pregnancy, and I took such good care of her... The baby was perfectly healthy, and we lost him! Life is unfair. At that moment I said to myself: “I can't anymore”. And decided to become a full-time actor, working full time.
Luis Guzman
He focused on his acting career and started taking acting lessons, later describing himself as a "dull knife like there's a tool, but it needs to be sharpened". As a result, the 90s turned out to be very fruitful for him in terms of new roles.

He starred as a detective in the drama "Q&A" with Nick Nolte and Timothy Hutton, appeared in the comedy action movie "The Hard Way" and the horror movie "Innocent Blood". In addition, he worked on the movie "Magnolia".
Luis Guzman in the movie “Magnolia”
Luis Guzman in the movie “Magnolia”
Once Guzman was surprised when he was asked about the movie "Ghost". It turned out that he was confused (and this happened very often) with Rick Aviles, the actor who played the killer of Patrick Swayze's character. Later, Luis stopped denying his participation in "Ghost" and joked:
Even now we could walk through an airport or a shopping mall, and someone will definitely ask - why did you kill Patrick Swayze? What was it like working with Whoopi Goldberg? If I had a penny every time I was mistaken for him, I would probably already own a studio, an island, and a couple of private planes.
A big acting success for Luis was the role of Pachanga in Brian De Palma's crime drama "Carlito's Way" (1993), in which the main characters were portrayed by Al Pacino and Sean Penn. He met Chuck Norris on the set of "Walker, Texas Ranger", and played alongside Tom Berenger in "The Substitute".
Luis Guzman in the movie “Carlito's Way”
Luis Guzman in the movie “Carlito's Way”
In the comedy thriller "Pronto", Guzman appeared as Bucky Torres, and in Paul Thomas Anderson's drama "Boogie Nights" played Maurice TT Rodriguez. For this work in 1997, Luis received his first award - from the Florida Film Critics Circle.
Luis Guzman in the movie “Boogie Nights”
Luis Guzman in the movie “Boogie Nights”
From 1998 to 2000, he appeared in the popular series "Oz" as Raul Hernandez, a Puerto Rican prisoner and member of a Latino gang, ready to commit any atrocity for his goal.
Luis Guzman in the series “Oz”
Luis Guzman in the series “Oz”
Together with the cast of Steven Soderbergh's crime film "Traffic" (2000), Guzman, who played a witty policeman, received the main award from the Screen Actors Guild. In addition, the film won two Oscars, two Golden Globes and two Satellites. The main roles in it were played by Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Luis Guzman in the movie “Traffic”
Luis Guzman in the movie “Traffic”
2007 brought the actor his first leading role. He appeared on screen as hotel manager Ramon Gaviota in the series "John from Cincinnati". "Guzman's character appears as a kind of backup, but then plunges viewers into a completely separate story," wrote critics.
Luis Guzman in the series “John from Cincinnati”
Luis Guzman in the series “John from Cincinnati”
Another film related to the theme of drugs was released in 2015. In the series "Narcos", Luis masterfully transformed into the creator of drug cartel Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha.
Luis Guzman in the series “Narcos”
Luis Guzman in the series “Narcos”
An important role for Guzman was Eddie in the disaster film "9/11" about the September 11 attacks in the USA. Together with the characters of Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg, his character was in an elevator in one of the Twin Towers and was fighting desperately for life.
Luis Guzman in the movie “9/11”
Luis Guzman in the movie “9/11”
A new turn in Guzman's career was brought by the role of the patriarch of the gloomy Addams family in Tim Burton's acclaimed series "Wednesday". Although at first viewers were somewhat disappointed with the director's choice, Luis coped perfectly with the role of a caring dad and passionate husband.
Luis Guzman in the series “Wednesday”
Luis Guzman in the series “Wednesday”
After filming "Wednesday", Guzman landed the leading role of Luis Torres in the drama "Story Ave", in which he served as a producer for the first time. The film was released in the spring of 2023.
Luis Guzman in the movie “The Avenue Story”
Luis Guzman in the movie “The Avenue Story”

Personal Life of Luis Guzman

Luis married Angelita Galarza, a Spanish-Portuguese woman three years his junior. The couple wed in 1985.

In 1991, the couple lost a son during childbirth. Subsequently, they had three children: daughters Margarita and Yemaya, and a son, Cemi, who became a film producer. In addition, Luis and Angelita adopted and raised four more children.
Luis Guzman and his wife Angelita Galarza
Luis Guzman and his wife Angelita Galarza
Guzman is a model family man, the media has never even hinted at any affairs of the actor.

Now, the actor lives on his own ranch in the town of Sutton, Vermont, where he moved in 2005, deciding that it was a much more peaceful and genuine place for family life than New York. He first visited Vermont in 1974 and fell in love with the state forever.
Luis Guzman with his children
Luis Guzman with his children
Guzman supports the Democratic Party of the USA, and in 2016, he voted for Senator Bernie Sanders.

Luis Guzman now

In 2023, Luis Guzman starred in the detective film "Poker Face" alongside Natasha Lyonne and Benjamin Bratt. He also joined Timothy Olyphant in the crime drama "Justified: City Primeval".
Luis Guzman in the series 'Poker Face'
Luis Guzman in the series 'Poker Face'
In 2024, fans will see Guzman team up with Tom Hardy in the American-British project "Havoc". The thriller reveals a dark network of conspiracies and corruption in the city. In addition, the actor shared more news. According to Luis, he will return to the role of Gomez Addams in the second season of "Wednesday": Yes, that's the plan. I'm going to dance, and I'm also going to have a sword fight. And there will be one more thing. I don't know what it means, but it will happen. Thus, Luis Guzman will not only appear in "Wednesday 2", but will also perform a certain dance, possibly even with his on-screen daughter.

Interesting Facts

  • Despite the dissatisfaction of some viewers, the character of Gomez Addams from "Wednesday" performed by Luis Guzman is the closest to the original comics: good-natured, grotesque appearance, complete lack of elegance. The costume designer Colleen Atwood said: Gomez had a body that was very convenient to work with. It's round, and vertical stripes suit him. So I made a jacket out of a large number of elements so that it fit exactly to the figure, and the character made the most cartoonish impression.. The only time Gomez appears in the series in another outfit is in the fifth episode, when he ends up behind bars: he's wearing a bright orange robe. The prisoner number 171912 symbolically corresponds to the birthday of Charles Addams (January 7, 1912), the creator of the Addams Family comics.

  • Luis's mother was a very merciful woman and diligently instilled this trait in her son. Every evening she collected the leftovers from dinner and gave them to Luis to take to the homeless under the bridge. The young man learned the lesson and many years later, already being a recognizable actor, he dared to conduct a bold experiment: he disguised himself as a homeless person, hid a microphone under his clothes, and lived on the streets for three days. The experiment resulted in the documentary "Project NIMBY," which drew public attention to the problem of homelessness.

  • His favorite Hollywood actor Guzman called Marlon Brando, and the directors he liked working with the most were Steven Soderbergh and Paul Thomas Anderson.

  • Director Martin Bregman, who shot the prequel "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power" in 2005, invited only two actors who starred in "Carlito's Way" from 1993 to the shooting - Luis Guzman and Chuck Zito.
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