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Luis Guzman        

Puerto Rican Actor Who Starred in the HBO Original Series "How to Make It in America"

A well-respected character actor who specializes in playing tough guys with a heart, Luis Guzmán has appeared in a dizzying array of film and television productions since he began his professional acting career in the early 1980s.

Luis Guzmán was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico and was brought up in New York City's Greenwich Village and the surrounding Lower East Side neighborhood. Luis Guzmán graduated from City College and worked for some years as a youth counselor at the Henry Street Settlement House. During his time as a social worker, Luis Guzmán began performing in street theatre and independent films. Luis Guzmán got his first big break in the early '80s with a role on the popular TV series Miami Vice.

Luis Guzmán went on to work sporadically in film and television throughout the rest of the decade, appearing in such films as Sidney Lumet's Family Business and Ridley Scott's Black Rain (both 1989).

Guzmán's work schedule grew increasingly crowded as the 1990s progressed; kicking off the decade with an appearance in another Lumet piece, Q & A (1990), the actor began popping up in films ranging from romantic comedy (Anthony Minghella's Mr. Wonderful, 1993) to crime drama (Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, 1993) to gay and lesbian historical docudrama (Nigel Finch's Stonewall, 1995).

Thanks to directors Steven Soderbergh and Paul Thomas Anderson, Luis Guzmán became more readily recognizable in the late 1990s. For Soderbergh, he had substantial roles in Out of Sight (1998), which cast him as a prisoner whose planned escape is ruined by George Clooney; and The Limey (1999), in which Guzmán played Terence Stamp's gruff but good-hearted partner in revenge. For Anderson, Luis Guzmán appeared in both Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999), playing a wannabe porn star in the former and a game show contestant in the latter. In 2002 the increasingly visible Guzmán appeared in no less than five films, including a prominant role in the caper comedy Welcome to Collinwood and a re-teaming with director Anderson with Punch-Drunk Love. Also included in the list of Guzman's numerous movie credits are roles in Stonewall, Waiting..., The Salton Sea, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

On television, Luis Guzmán became a regular presence thanks to a recurring role on the HBO prison drama Oz, as well as appearances on such shows as Law and Order, NYPD Blue, Walker, Texas Ranger, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Frasier. Luis Guzmán starred in the short-lived 2003 television comedy Luis, and is a commentator on VH1's I Love the '80s, I Love Toys and its sequels, including I Love the '70s and I Love the '90s.

Luis Guzmán co-starred on the canceled 2007 HBO series John from Cincinnati. In early 2008, Luis Guzmán starred in "Naturally Aged Cheddar Hunks" TV ads for Cabot Creamery.[3] He also appeared in the music video "Yes We Can." Luis Guzmán also has a role in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its prequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Luis Guzmán lives with his family in Vermont.

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