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Laz Alonso  

Actor Known for His Roles in "Avatar" and "Breakout Kings," Among Many Others

Laz Alonso was chosen as one of Variety's "Top Ten Actors to Watch in 2009." A star on the rise, Laz was most recently seen in "Battle of the Year."

Previously, he's appeared in "Breakout Kings" and "Deception." He starred opposite Angela Bassett, Paula Patton and Mike Epps in the romantic comedy "Jumping The Broom" from Sony Touchstone. His supporting role of "Sheriff John Burke" in Rod Lurie's remake of the Sam Peckinpah classic "Straw Dogs" for Sony Screen Gems was released in September 2011. The film starred James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, and tells the story about a young couple who relocate back to the wife's hometown and find that much of the backwards thinking that permeated her small town when she was growing up is still alive.

Laz starred in the lead role of "Tsu'Tey," the highest grossing film of all time, "Avatar." Directed by James Cameron, this sci-fi epic released by 20th Century Fox stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. The film is one of the most technically complex productions ever mounted, making extensive use of cutting edge 3-D, computer animation and motion capture F/X technology. In addition to "Avatar," Laz also appeared on TNT's critically acclaimed series "Southland" in a recurring role. Also in 2009, Laz played the lead villain role of "Fenix" in the fourth installment of highly popular "Fast and the Furious" franchise. "Fast & Furious," which reunited the original cast of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez and posted the highest-ever April weekend opening. The movie went on to generate over $350,000,000 in worldwide box office sales and along with DVD sales and rentals, the film went on to be the highest grossing film in 2009 for Universal Pictures.

In early 2008, Laz executive produced and starred opposite Danny Glover in Alan Jacobs' "Down for Life" (aka "Por Vida"), which ended up with a much-coveted position in the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, for which it was critically acclaimed. In 2008, Laz starred in "Miracle at St. Anna" for director Spike Lee, in which he played one of four main leads opposite Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Omar Benson. The film, which follows four black "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped in a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of WWII, also stars John Leguizamo, John Tuturro and Kerry Washington.

Born and raised in Washington DC, Laz always knew he wanted to be an actor. He remembers at a very early age entertaining his family by imitating relatives and family friends. He graduated from the prestigious Howard University School of Business, earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. After college, he worked on Wall Street at an investment banking firm. He and several partners eventually started their own marketing business, promoting mainstream products to the trend-setting urban market. Owning and operating his own successful business freed up Laz's time to finally explore his passion for acting. Laz began taking classes in the evening to hone his craft, and it didn't take him long to begin landing roles in commercials and videos.

From D.C. to New York, Laz feels his upbringing not only taught him how to deal with the school of hard knocks, but also prepared him for his biggest goal, his acting career. He credits the move to NYC as his move into manhood and the city holds many great memories for him. Laz also credits his acting ability to these life experiences, as he is able to bring a little of what he knows or has dealt with into his characters.

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