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Rosie Perez Biography

Birth Name:
Rosa María Pérez
Birth Place:
Brooklyn, New York, United States

Fast Facts

  • After high school, left her hometown of Brooklyn to continue her studies in Los Angeles, and landed a job as a dancer on Soul Train
  • Discovered in a nightclub by director Spike Lee, who launched her movie career with his 1989 hit Do the Right Thing
  • She initially turned down his offer for a part in the film
  • Choreographed the Fly Girls on the popular sketch comedy show In Living Color
  • Produced and directed Yo soy Boricua, pa'que tu to sepas! (I'm Boricua, Just So You Know!), a 2006 documentary that examines her Puerto Rican heritage
  • Artistic board member of Working Playground, an arts education program that partners with New York City schools
  • A longtime AIDS activist, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in 2010


  • 2021Emmy-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2020Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2009Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: nominated
  • 1994Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1993Emmy-Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography: nominated
  • 1993Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: nominated
  • 1992Emmy-Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography: nominated
  • 1992Los Angeles Film Critics Association-Best Supporting Actress: winner
  • 1990Emmy-Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: nominated