John Leguizamo was born in Bogotá, Colombia on July 22 of 1964. His
mother Luz Leguizamo and his Father Alberto Leguizamo were also from
Colombia; however, his paternal grandfather was of Puerto Rican and
Italian descent and his maternal grandfather was Lebanese. Leguizamo
define himself as being part of an Amerindian/Mestizo heritage. At the
age of 4, Leguizamo and his family immigrate to the Unites States. He
started living in New York City at Queens in various neighborhoods.
Leguizamo attended the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School and later the
Murry Bergtraum High School. Ten years later their parent divorced, and
he stayed with his mother Luz.
When he was studying at Murry Bergtraum High School, he wrote a comedy
material and texted it out on his classmates. According to his
classmates he was the most talkative of them. Years later, Leguizamo
graduated from high school and began his theater career as an
undergraduate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts . He took theater
classes at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus.
At 1984 John started out as a stand-up comedian at the New York
nightclub circuit. Then at 1986 he made his television debut in a small
part of Miami Vince; moreover, he continued working at other roles
like: an extra in Madonna's Borderline video (1984) playing a friend of
Madonna's boyfriend; Mixed Blood (1985); Casualties of War (1989); a
terrorist in Die Hard 2(1990); Hangin' with the Homeboys (1991); the
robber in Regarding Henry (1991) and Night Owl (a.k.a. Nite Owl)
At 1992 he starred in Whispers in the Dark as John Castillo.
Subsequently at 1993, he was offered to be part as Luigi in the film
Super Mario Bros. Consequently, his career started at Hollywood. These
films provide a boost that allowed him to appear in better comedic
roles in the following years. That same year (1993), he had a
noticeable role in Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way as Carlito Brigante's
nemesis, which upgraded his career in serious roles.
Leguizamo also starred in Romeo and Juliet as Tybalt Capulet, as
Violator in Spawn, Cholo in Land of the Dead and Pestario 'Pest' Vargas
in The Pest. In 1995, he starred as drag queen Chi-Chi Rodriguez in To
Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and in the 1996 action
film Executive Decision as Captain Rat. In 2002, he starred in the
movie Empire. In 2002 he made his noticeable role of Sid the sloth for
the film Ice Age, reprising the role for the sequels Ice Age: The
Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Also he had participation on TV like: in 1995 he created, produced,
wrote, and starred the Latino-oriented variety show called House of
Buggin' on Fox Television. Furthermore, he participate on the Arabian
Nights portraying both genies. He starred on Dora the Explorer as
Captain Pirate Piggy at 2005, and other important works he has make
along his professional career.
John Leguizamo had won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety
or Music Program in 1999, he won 4 ALMA Awards: the first one for
Outstanding Performance by an Individual or Act in a Variety or Comedy
Special in 1999, the second one for Outstanding Host of a Variety or
Awards Special in 2001, the third one for Entertainer of the Year in
2002, and the last one Actor in Film in 2009. Leguizamo won 3 CableACE
Awards: the first one Comedy Special, the second one writing an
Entertainment Special and the last one Performance in a Comedy Special
all of them at 1994. The last one was an Imagen Foundation Awards at
He is the one of biggest exponent of Colombia that had introduce our
country to United States, and show the huge talent that our country
have. Because of his huge experience; moreover, his uncountable awards
is positioned as the best actor in national and international level. He
left an important heritage to the Colombian culture, and the most
important one is the variety of works that he left that would entertain
many generations, also these works would place Colombia in high place.
Actually, John is marry with Justine Maurer. They have two children,
their daughter Allegra sky born at 1999 and their son Ryder Lee born at