Rosa Maria "Rosie" Perez (born September 6, 1964) is an American actress, community activist, talk show host, author, dancer, and choreographer. Her film breakthrough was in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989), which she followed with White Men Can't Jump (1992). Among many honors, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fearless (1993). She was also nominated for three Emmy Awards for her work as a choreographer on In Living Color. In 2007, Perez starred on Broadway as Googie Gomez in a revival of The Ritz, and she was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award for her performance in The Take. Perez was a regular host on The View and in 2015 she returned to Broadway to star in Fish in the Dark, a new play written by Larry David.
Perez at the New York premiere of
Won't Back Down, 2012.
|Born||Rosa Maria Perez
September 6, 1964
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.|
|Other names||Rosa Maria Serrano|
|Education||Los Angeles City College
West Lost Angeles College
|Occupation||Actress, dancer, choreographer, director, activist, author|
|Spouse(s)||Seth Zvi Rosenfeld (m. 1991; div. 2001)
Eric Haze (m. 2013)
Perez was born in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, to mother Lydia Perez and Ismael Serrano, a merchant marine seaman. Her parents, who were both from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, were married to other people when they met—she is the product of their affair. She was born at the now-closed Greenpoint Hospital in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. Perez became a ward of the state when her mother took her from an aunt, who had been raising her. She was transferred to a group foster home at age three and lived in foster care in New York and Peekskill until age eight, and was still legally considered a ward of the State of New York until age 12. Her mother and aunt frequently visited, and her father made an unsuccessful custody bid at one point. Perez has five brothers and sisters from her mother's marriage to her mother's first husband, Ventura Perez, but also has additional half-brothers and half-sisters (a total of 10 children). These life problems left Perez with a speech impediment. She eventually moved in with paternal aunt, Ana Dominga Otero Serrano-Roque, and attended Grover Cleveland High School, which is located in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens. Her mother died of AIDS-related complications in 1999. Perez is Puerto Rican and had a strict Catholic upbringing, which she has credited to the influence of the nuns during her childhood.
At 19 years old, Perez started her career in the early 1980s, as a dancer on Soul Train. As a college student in Los Angeles, majoring in bio-chemistry, to relieve stress, she said she would go to nightclubs for ladies night. A talent scout from Soul Train asked Perez to appear on the show. She was not a professional dancer, but loved it so much she dropped out of school. In 1988, when she was 24 years old, Perez was noticed at the dance club Funky Reggae by Spike Lee, who hired her for her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing.
Perez later choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys. She was the choreographer for the dancing group the Fly Girls who were featured on the Fox television comedy program In Living Color and also worked as a segment producer. She made her Broadway debut in Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Perez had her third major role in the hit comedy White Men Can't Jump co-starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
Perez was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Peter Weir's 1993 film Fearless. She attended the ceremony with her father. In 1997, she starred in Perdita Durango, a controversial film in which many scenes of excessive violence, sex and nudity were edited out of the version released in the United States but remained intact in the version released throughout Latin America. In 1999, Perez starred in Nancy Savoca's The 24 Hour Woman. She provides the voices of Click, the camera, on Nick Jr.'s Go, Diego, Go! and Chel, a beautiful native woman in the DreamWorks Animation film The Road to El Dorado. She played corrupt police officer Carol Brazier in the Judd Apatow-produced film Pineapple Express, co-starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Perez appeared on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in October 2009 about pedophiles' rights. Executive producer Neal Baer said the writers had Perez in mind when they wrote the role of a young sexual abuse victim's mother. She suffered a serious injury during the filming of the episode. Most recently, Perez is the subject of an album by Felt entitled Felt 3: A Tribute To Rosie Perez. Perez was in a Mike Nichols production of The Play What I Wrote.
Rosie Perez injured her neck in 2009 while filming an episode of Law & Order: SVU and underwent surgery to heal a herniated disc. One year after the accident, she appeared at the White House in a wheelchair, wearing a neck brace for a meeting with President Obama. In May 2011, Perez filed a lawsuit against the producers of the show, claiming that the injury she incurred was the result of being "recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and manhandled" during filming.
In February 2014, Rosie Perez published an autobiography titled Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling... She is also the reader of the audio CD of this book. Perez said that she didn't initially set out to write an autobiography, but rather a book that analyzes the causes and effects of child abuse. She said it wasn't until about 6 months after the book was published and she heard responses from others that she found the experience cathartic.
On September 3, 2014, ABC announced Perez would join The View as a new co-host alongside moderator Whoopi Goldberg, newcomer Nicolle Wallace, and returning co-host Rosie O'Donnell. The new season began on September 15, 2014. Perez said she was initially hesitant about the job because "I didn't want to be on a show where people were just screaming at each other disrespectfully." She decided to join the cast when she learned that Bill Wolff, whom she knew from The Rachel Maddow Show, was going to be the new executive producer. On July 8, 2015, Perez announced she would be leaving The View.
Perez is an activist for Puerto Rican rights:
- Her film Yo soy Boricua, pa'que tu lo sepas! (I'm Puerto Rican, Just So You Know!) documents her activism.
- She starred in and directed the Spanish AIDS PSA campaign "Join the Fight" for Cable Positive and Kismet Films. The campaign featured actor Wilmer Valderrama, BET's Julissa Bermudez, Telenovela actor Erick Elías, singer/actress Lorena Rojas, 2006–2007 Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera and actress Judy Marte. An English-language campaign was also directed by Liev Schreiber.
- President Barack Obama appointed her to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). She was sworn in on February 2, 2010.
- On January 6, 2000, she was arrested for disorderly conduct in Manhattan following a rally to protest U.S. Navy air weapons training, as well as other forms of payload on the government training range owned at Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico.
- Perez serves as the chair of the artistic board for Urban Arts Partnership, a New York City arts education nonprofit that uses arts integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.
Perez suffered abuse during her childhood from both her schizophrenic mother and from the nuns at the group home. As a result, she has suffered from high anxiety, PTSD, and a form of depression called dysthymia, but with hard work in therapy it has been greatly reduced. Perez married artist Eric Haze on September 15, 2013 in Las Vegas. She has no children.  They had decided to get married the night before while attending the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saúl Álvarez boxing match. The couple slept over at the MGM Grand hotel-casino and were married in the morning. They live in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Perez was previously married to filmmaker and playwright Seth Zvi Rosenfeld but the couple divorced in 2001 after ten years of marriage. Perez stated on the Pineapple Express DVD commentary that she is allergic to dairy products. She was a friend of the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur.
|1990||Criminal Justice||Barbara Von Busch|
|1995||In a New Light: Sex Unplugged||Herself||Host|
|1997||Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground||Mystery Girl||Also producer
Segment "Love on the A Train"
|Lackawanna Blues||Bertha||Television Movie
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
|2010||Lies in Plain Sight||Marisol Reyes||Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama Special
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated—Imagen Foundation Award for Best Actress – Television
|1990||21 Jump Street||Rosie Martinez||Episode "2245"|
|1990||In Living Color||Herself||Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography (1990, 1992, 1993)
choreographer, seasons 1–4
|1990–1991||WIOU||Lucy Hernandez||Episodes "Without Prejudice"
"Mother Nature's Son"
"They Shoot Sources, Don't They"
|1995–1997||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Thumbelina / Witch/ Robinta Hood||Episodes "Thumbelina"
"Hanselito y Gretelita"
|2002||Widows||Linda Perelli||Episodes "Hour One"
|1995–2004||Frasier||Francesca / Lizbeth||Episodes "Roz in the Doghouse (1995)"
"Crock Tales (2004)"
|2005–2008||Go, Diego, Go!||Click, the camera||Episodes "Diego Saves the Humpback Whale"
"Linda the Llama Saves Carnaval"
"Diego's Wolf-Pup Rescue"
"The Bobos' Mother's Day"
"Tuga Helps the Moon"
"Freddie the Fruit Bat Saves Halloween!"
"Chinta the Baby Chinchilla"
|2008–2009||Lipstick Jungle||Dahlia Morales||Nominated—ALMA Award for Best Actress in Television – Comedy
Episodes "Pandora's Box"
"Let It Be"
"The Lyin', the Bitch and the Wardrobe Dahlia Morales"
"La Vie En Pose"
|2009||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Eva Banks||Episode "Hardwired"|
|2011–2012||The Cleveland Show||Choni / Aunt Chonie||Episodes "There Goes El Neighborhood"
"Y Tu Junior Tambien"
|2012||Nurse Jackie||Jules||Episode "Slow Growing Monsters"|
|2014||An American Education||Rita Gomez||Pilot|
|2014–2015||The View||Co-Host||Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host|
|2014–2017||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Aunt Rose||Voice, recurring role|
|2016||Search Party||Lorraine De Cross||Recurring role|
|2017||Nightcap||Herself||Episode: "Guest in a Snake"|
|2017-||Bounty Hunters||Rita Morales|
Works or publicationsEdit
- Bourke, Alison P, Evan Shapiro, Rosie Perez, Roger M. Sherman, Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy, Jimmy Smits, Kathryn Taverna, Tom Hurwitz, and Carlos Valdez. ¡yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas!: I'm Boricua, Just so You Know! Santa Monica, Calif.: Genius Entertainment, 2007. ISBN 978-1-594-44303-9
- Perez, Rosie. Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair). New York : Crown Archetype, 2014. ISBN 978-0-307-95239-4
- Cindy Y. Rodriguez. "Rosie Perez: 9 things you didn't know about her". CNN. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Applebome, Peter (February 14, 1999). "FILM; Trying to Shake a Stereotype But Keep On Being Rosie Perez". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "Rosie Perez biography". Biography.com. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Rodriguez, Cindy Y. (April 1, 2014). "9 things you didn't know about Rosie Perez". CNN. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Frank, Alex (September 15, 2014). "To Celebrate Her Debut as a Cohost of The View, a Look at the Career Highlights of Rosie Perez". Vogue. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Carvajal, Doreen (April 8, 2001). "John Ortiz and Rosie Perez: Accidental Actors". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Freeman, Sierra (May 12, 2006). "Why Puerto Ricans are So Damn Proud". The Indypendent. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Berman Santana, Déborah (Fall 2007). "Yo Soy Boricua, Pa' Que Tu Lo Sepas" (PDF). Centro journal. Hunter College, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños. XIX (2): 262–265. ISSN 2163-2960. OCLC 51876413. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Weigle, Lauren (September 15, 2014). "Rosie Perez, 'The View': 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- King, Larry (October 13, 2014). "Rosie Perez" (Video interview). Larry King Now. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Connelly, Sherryl (February 16, 2014). "Actress Rosie Perez reveals troubled past in new memoir 'Handbook for an Unpredictable Life'". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Paybarah, Azi (April 27, 2012). "Grover Cleveland and Bushwick Community high schools escape Bloomberg's ax; 24 schools don't". Capital New York. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Gordon, Ed (April 27, 2006). "Rosie Perez' U.S.-Puerto Rico Documentary" (Audio interview). NPR. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Udovitch, Mim. "I, Latina". Vibe (December 1993 – January 1994). Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "How Rosie Perez Got Her Start on Soul Train". Esquire. March 24, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
- "Overview for Rosie Perez – Milestones". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Hill, Logan (April 7, 2008). "How I Made It: Spike Lee on 'Do the Right Thing'". New York. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Ebert, Roger (February 17, 1999). "Rosie Perez On A Roll". Roger Ebert. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Hernandez, Ernio (January 30, 2003). "Rosie Perez and Joe Pantoliano Officially Bow as Bway's Frankie and Johnny Jan. 30". Playbill. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Weinraub, Bernard (March 22, 1994). "Quake or No Quake, the Show Must Go On". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Stevens, Brad (April 2000). "Perdita Durango: A Case Study". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- O'Connor, Mickey (August 20, 2009). "SVU Exclusive: Rosie Perez, Garret Dillahunt to Anchor Explosive Episode". TV Guide. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- Parvizi, Lauren (July 19, 2010). "Rosie Perez goes public with neck scar". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Oldenburg, Ann (July 15, 2010). "Rosie Perez injured doing her own 'SVU' stunt". USA Today. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Gorta, William J. (May 18, 2011). "Actress Rosie Perez sues over injuries suffered filming 'Law and Order: SVU'". New York Post. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Marzulli, John (February 1, 2012). "Rosie Perez OKs settlement after injury on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Ortega, Mark E. Uh. (June 12, 2013). "Famous Fight Fan: Rosie Perez | RingTV". RingTV. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- "Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace Join The View as co-hosts". ABC. September 3, 2014.
- Gliatto, Tom (September 15, 2014). "Rosie Perez Is the Best Thing About the New View, Says People's Critic". People. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Terrero, Nina (September 5, 2014). "7 reasons why Rosie Perez is perfect for the 'The View'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Moreno, Carolina (October 17, 2014). "Rosie Perez Says Latin Hollywood Told Her Not To 'Rock The Boat'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Rivas, Jorge (October 16, 2012). "Rosie Pérez Talks Romney and Love on Maddow [Video]". ColorLines. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- de Moraes, Lisa (July 7, 2015). "Rosie Perez Leaving 'The View'". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Aurthur, Kate (June 11, 2006). "IFC Steps Up Its Commitment to Original Programming". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "Artistic Board Chair Rosie Perez was featured in the Reader's Digest "Best of America" issue". Urban Arts Partnership. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Santiago, Solmarie (April 3, 2014). "Madonna and 2-Pac Hookup Revealed by Rosie Perez on The Wendy Williams Show". Latin Post. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Diaz, Evelyn (August 22, 2013). "Rosie Perez Is Married | News". BET. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Williams, Ashley (September 26, 2013). "Rosie Perez Ties The Knot In Vegas!". HipHollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2013.