|Date of Birth||19 February 1967 , San Germán, Puerto Rico|
|Birth Name||Benicio Monserrate Rafael Del Toro Sanchez|
|Height||6' 2" (1.88 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Benicio gave creditable performances in many overlooked films for the next few years, such as The Indian Runner (1991), Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) and Money for Nothing (1993). His roles in Fearless (1993) and China Moon (1994) gained him more critical notices, and 1995 proved to be the first "Year of Benicio" as he gave a memorable performance in Swimming with Sharks (1994) before taking critics and film buffs by storm as the mumbling, mysterious gangster in The Usual Suspects (1995), directed by Bryan Singer. Del Toro won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting actor for the role in the Oscar-winning film. Staying true to his independent roots, he next gave a charismatic turn as cold-blooded gangster Gaspare in The Funeral (1996) directed by Abel Ferrara. He also appeared as Benny Dalmau in Basquiat (1996), directed by artist friend Julian Schnabel. That year also marked his first truly commercial film, as he played cocky Spanish baseball star Juan Primo in The Fan (1996), which starred Robert De Niro. Del Toro took his first leading man role in Excess Baggage (1997), starring and produced by Alicia Silverstone. Hand-picked by Silverstone, Del Toro's performance was pretty much the only thing critics praised about the film, and showed the level of consciousness he was beginning to have in the minds of film fans. In 1998 he took a leading role with Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), directed by the legendary Terry Gilliam. Gaining 40 pounds for the role of Dr. Gonzo, the drug-addicted lawyer to sports writer Raoul Duke, Benicio immersed himself totally in the role. Using his method acting training so far as to burn himself with cigarettes for a scene, it was a trying time for Del Toro. The harsh critical reviews proved tough on him, as he felt he had given his all for the role and been dismissed. Many saw the crazed, psychotic performance as a confirmation of the rumors and overall weirdness that people seemed to place on Del Toro. Taking a short break after the ordeal, 2000 proved to be the second "Year of Benicio". He first appeared in The Way of the Gun (2000), directed by friend and "The Usual Suspects" writer Christopher McQuarrie. Then he went to work for actor's director Steven Soderbergh in Traffic (2000). A complex and graphic film, it nonetheless became a widespread hit and Oscar winner. Del Toro's Javier Rodriguez, a conflicted Mexican cop, functions as the movie's real heart amid an all-star ensemble cast, and many praised it as the year's best performance, a sentiment validated by a Screen Actor's Guild Award for "Best Actor". He also gave a notable performance in Snatch. (2000) directed by Guy Ritchie, which was released several weeks later, and The Pledge (2001) directed by Sean Penn. Possessing sleepy good looks reminiscent of James Dean or Marlon Brando, Del Toro has often jokingly been referred to as the "Spanish Brad Pitt". With his newfound celebrity, Del Toro has become a sort of heartthrob, being voted one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People" as well as "Most Eligible Bachelors". A favorite of film fans for years for his diverse and "cool guy" gangster roles, he is now becoming a mainstream favorite respected for his acting skills and choices. So far very careful in his choices and who he works with, Del Toro can boast an impressive resume of films with some of the most influential and respected people in the film business.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Brian Stewart