Date of Birth: September 6, 1964
Brooklyn-born Rosie Perez grew up one of ten children in Brooklyn, New York, and was placed in a group home after cutting a woman's throat when she was 12. After highschool she attended attended Los Angeles City College to study marine biology.
While in college, her moves were spotted by a Soul Train producer at a dance club one night, and he put her on the air. Working a few seasons with the TV variety series, Perez then went on to perform at the LA club Funky Reggae. Here she was spotted by director Spike Lee, who cast her in a choice role in his 1989 film Do The Right Thing.
As a choreographer, Perez designed the dances for Diana Ross and Bobby Brown, and was Emmy-nominated for her work with the Fly Girls in the Fox comedy/variety series In Living Color (1990 to 1994). She can also be seen dancing to the title tune under the opening credits.
She has been shown to best advantage on screen in explosive supporting roles, such as the Jeopardy-obsessed girlfriend of Woody Harrelson in White Men Can't Jump (1992) and the hilariously covetous wife of lottery winner Nicholas Cage in It Could Happen to You (1994).
Perez excelled as the troubled plane-crash survivor in Fearless (1993) and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1997, Perez travelled to Spain to play the title role in Alex de Iglesia's wild Perdita Durango.
In July 1999 she married filmmaker and playwright, Seth Zvi Rosenfeld. They are currently separated.
Early in 2000, Perez was arrested for disorderly conduct in Manhattan following a rally to protest US Navy bomb tests on Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Other than getting arrested, Perez completed two films. The animated The Road to El Dorado, in which she voices the luscious con artist native, Chel, and thriller, King of the Jungle.