Luis Guzman was born January 1, 1957 in Cayey, Puerto Rico but he grew up in Greenwich Village in the Lower East Side of New York because, as he once explained in an interview, his mother traveled to the Big Apple just fifteen minutes after he was born. Guzman graduated from City College before becoming a youth counselor at the Henry Street Settlement House while also a performer in street theaters and independent films. His first big break came when he was cast in an episode of the hit `80s cop show, Miami Vice, starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Also, Guzman is one of only two actors to appear in both Carlito’s Way and its prequel, Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power.
Guzman rose to fame when he played Raoul “El Cid” Hernandez on the HBO series Oz. His character is the most ruthless and merciless member of the Latino faction, showing no hesitation in brutalizing or murdering others in order to benefit himself and his brethren. Later on, Guzman continued his work on HBO, this time starring on the drama John from Cincinnati as Ramon Gaviota. Other television roles of his include those in Homicide: Life on the Street, Frasier, and The Beat.
With numerous credits to his name, Luis Guzman has had an extensive career. The Puerto Rican actor is a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh, who gave him roles in the films Out of Sight, The Limey, and Traffic. Paul Anderson also enjoys working with him, as he cast Guzman in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. Other film credits of the actor are Welcome to Collinwood, Stonewall, Waiting…, The Salton Sea and the film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. He later reprised his role of Raddimus in the sequel Still Waiting…, and was seen on Cleaner, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Fighting.