Benicio del Toro is a Puerto Rican actor and producer of Spanish descent. He has won critical acclaim and numerous accolades and awards.
Including an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the jaded but morally upright police officer Javier Rodriguez in the film Traffic (2000).
Del Toro’s performance as ex-con turned religious fanatic in despair, Jack Jordan, in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams (2003) earned him a second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
As well as a second Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination and a BAFTA Awards nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
- Full name: Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez
- Profession: Puerto Rican actor
- Born: 19 February 1967 (age 53 years), San Germán, Puerto Rico
- Height: 1.88 m
- TV shows: Escape at Dannemora
- Children: Delilah del Toro
About Benicio del Toro
Del Toro was born on February 19, 1967, in San Germán, Puerto Rico, to Gustavo Adolfo del Toro Bermúdez and Fausta Genoveva Sánchez Rivera (daughter of Benicio Sánchez Castaño and Lirio Belén Rivera), who were both lawyers.
Many of del Toro’s relatives are involved in Puerto Rico’s legal system. He has an older brother, Gustavo, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York.
He had a Catalan paternal great-grandfather and a Basque maternal great-grandmother. Del Toro is related to Puerto Rican basketball player Carlos Arroyo, Spanish latin pop and eurodance singer Rebeca Pous Del Toro, whose maternal grandfather was Puerto Rican, and Puerto Rican singer Eliseo del Toro.
Del Toro’s great-grandfather was Rafael Rivera Esbrí, one of the heroes of the El Polvorin fire in Ponce, and who would also later become mayor of that city (1915-1917).
He spent most of his infancy in Santurce, a barrio within San Juan. Del Toro, whose childhood nicknames were “Skinny Benny” and “Beno”, was raised a Roman Catholic and attended Academia del Perpetuo Socorro (The Academy of Our Lady of Perpetual Help), a Roman Catholic school in Miramar, Puerto Rico. When del Toro was nine years old, his mother died of hepatitis.
At age 15, he moved with his father and brother to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where he was enrolled at the Mercersburg Academy.
He spent his adolescence and attended high school there. After graduation, del Toro followed the advice of his father and pursued a business degree at the University of California, San Diego.
Success in an elective drama course encouraged him to drop out of college and study with noted acting teachers Stella Adler and Arthur Mendoza, in Los Angeles, as well as at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.
He is also known for his scene-stealing breakout role as the eccentric, unintelligible crook Fred Fenster in The Usual Suspects (1995), which won him his first Independent Spirit Award.
Benny Dalmau in Basquiat (1996), which won him a second consecutive Independent Spirit Award.
Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998); gambleholic Franky Four Fingers in Snatch (2000).
The predatory, unhinged antagonist Jackie Boy in Sin City (2005); revolutionary Che Guevara in Che (2008), a performance which earned him the Best Actor Award both at the Cannes Film Festival, and at the Goya Awards.
And as Alejandro, a mysterious, ruthless agent out to bring down a drug cartel in Sicario (2015), for which del Toro won several awards, including the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, and was nominated for a third BAFTA Award.
His noteworthy body of work also includes portrayals of the Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar in Escobar: Paradise Lost, Lawrence Talbot in the 2010 remake of The Wolfman, and codebreaker DJ in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.