A multi-faceted performer and Emmy Award winner, John Leguizamo has established a career that defies categorization. With boundless and visceral creativity, his work in film, theatre, television, and literature covers a variety of genres, continually threatening to create a few of its own.
This March, Leguizamo will debut his 5th HBO solo special,”Ghetto Klown,” an adaptation of his Drama Desk Award-winning one-man stage show of the same name. Leguizamo most recently starred alongside Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in Universal’s hit comedy, Ride Along. This May, Leguizamo will be seen in the Open Road Films feature, Chef, written and directed by Jon Favreau.
In 2013, Leguizamo completed production on Cymbeline, a modern-day take on William Shakespeare’s play, as well as Stealing Cars, starring William H. Macy. He also starred in Fugly, opposite Rosie Perez and Rhada Mitchell, which he also wrote and produced. Fugly follows Leguizamo’s character, a New York comedian, whose near death experience forces him to make difficult life choices.
In 2011, Leguizamo returned to Broadway with his new solo play, Ghetto Klown, the next chapter in his hugely popular personal and professional story. Directed by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens, Ghetto Klown follows in the unabashed, uncensored, and uninhibited tradition of Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, Freak, and Sexaholix… a Love Story.
Other film credits include Walking with Dinosaurs, The Counselor, Kick Ass 2, Love in the Vanishing on 7th Street, The Lincoln Lawyer, the Ice Age franchise, Love in Time of Cholera, The Happening, Righteous Kill, The Babysitters, The Take and Where God Left His Shoes. In addition, Leguizamo has led his talents to a slew of other films including Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueno, Spun, Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Dr. Doolittle, Carlito’s Way, and Casualties of War.
For his performance as a sensitive drag queen in Too Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, Leguizamo garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Leguizamo also picked up ALMA Award nominations for his roles in Moulin Rouge (Best Supporting Actor) and King of the Jungle (Best Lead Actor). He was the recipient of the 2002 ALMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
In the summer of 2007, Leguizamo returned to television in Spike TV’s limited series The Kill Point, in which he played the leader of a gang of bank robbers who had recently returned from serving in Iraq. Additionally, Leguizamo appeared as a guest star in twelve episodes of NBC’s cornerstone drama ER during the 2005/2006 season, and in 2006 did a guest star arc on the NBC hit My Name is Earl.
In 1991, Leguizamo created an off-Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his one-man show Mambo Mouth, in which he portrayed seven different characters. He received Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Vanguardia awards for his performance.
Leguizamo’s second one-man show, Spic-O-Rama, had an extended sold-out run in Chicago at the Goodman and Briar Street theaters before opening in New York. The play received numerous accolades including the Dramatists’ Guild Hull-Warriner Award for Best American Play and the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Broadway Performance. Leguizamo received the Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent, as well as a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance. Spic-O-Rama aired on HBO, receiving four CableACE Awards
Freak, Leguizamo’s third one-man show, ended a successful run on Broadway in 1998. Billed as a “Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography,” Freak was described as “scathingly funny” (New York Times). Along with the Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Leguizamo won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critic’s Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. A special presentation of Freak, directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO and earned Leguizamo the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program as well as a nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
In fall of 2001 Leguizamo returned to Broadway with Sexaholix…a Love Story. Directed by Peter Askin, the play is based on the sold-out national tour, John Leguizamo Live! Leguizamo was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the show received a Tony nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance. Sexaholix aired as an HBO Special in Spring 2002 and also toured the country. Additional stage credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and La Puta Vida at the New York Shakespeare Festival and Parting Gestures at INTAR.
To add to his list of attributes, Leguizamo is also an accomplished author. He recently penned his autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends, which was released by Harper Collins in October 2006. The New York Times called the book “brutally funny,” while USA Today coined Leguizamo as “one of the most exciting talents to come along in some time.”
Leguizamo currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.
Learn more at: http://john-leguizamo.squarespace.com/