|Education||University of California, Santa Barbara (BFA)|
American Conservatory Theater
Benjamin Bratt (born December 16, 1963) is an American actor and producer who has worked in film and on television. Bratt had supporting roles in the 1990s in such box office hits as Demolition Man (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and The River Wild (1994). From 1995 to 1999, he starred as New York City Police Department (NYPD) Detective Rey Curtis on the NBC drama series Law & Order.
In the 2000s, Bratt appeared in Miss Congeniality (2000), Traffic (2000), Piñero (2001), Catwoman (2004), and Trucker (2008), Despicable Me 2 (2013), Snitch (2013), Coco (2017), among other films. On television, Bratt has portrayed Dr. Jake Reilly on ABC's Private Practice (2011–2013), Steve Navarro on 24: Live Another Day (2014), and Jahil Rivera on Star (2016–2018). He has also done voice acting in animated feature films.
Bratt has received a Screen Actors Guild Award and been nominated for two others. He has received four ALMA Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award. He is an activist in the American Indian Movement.
Bratt was born on December 16, 1963 in San Francisco, California, the third of five children of Eldy (née Banda), a nurse and political activist, and Peter Bratt Sr., a sheet metal worker. His mother was born in Lima, Peru, and is of Quechua background. She moved to the United States with her family at age 14. His father is American with German and English ancestry. Bratt's paternal grandfather, George Cleveland Bratt (March 5, 1893 – March 29, 1984), was a Broadway actor who married Bratt's paternal grandmother, Wiltrude Hildner, in Detroit, Michigan.
An activist for Native American rights, his mother took Bratt (age 6) and her other children to participate in the 1969 Native American occupation of Alcatraz. Led by young people from San Francisco, it raised national awareness of issues facing Native Americans, and attracted participants from across the country. Bratt attended Lowell High School in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Lowell Forensic Society. Bratt earned a B.F.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1986, where he joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Enrolled in the M.F.A. program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, he left before receiving his degree in order to star in the 1987 television film Juarez.
He started his professional acting career at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, where he starred in the television film Juarez (1987). This received much critical acclaim, and he landed a supporting role in the television film Police Story: Gladiator School (1988). Also, he played his first film role as Esteban in Lovers, Partners & Spies (1988), which did not perform well at the box office. Bratt worked extensively in television, with roles in the Knightwatch and Nasty Boys series. In 1989, he starred in the film Nasty Boys, based on the television series.
Hollywood breakthrough and success
After several low-budget films and television films, including One Good Cop and Shadowhunter, in 1993, Bratt appeared in two Hollywood films. He portrayed a gang member turned LAPD officer named Paco Aguilar in Blood In, Blood Out, and Officer Alfredo Garcia from the year 2032 in Demolition Man.
Returning to television, he played Detective Reynaldo Curtis in the popular series Law & Order, which gained him international recognition. Bratt appeared in 95 episodes over 5 seasons, 14 years, and 2 stints on the NBC show. For his role, in 1999 he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 1998 and 1999 he received ALMA awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series from American Latino Media Arts for this role on Law & Order.
In 1999, Bratt decided to leave Law & Order. "I've felt like it was time to get back home to my family," Bratt said, "How do you walk away from the best job in the world and a group of people that you've grown to love? It's not easy, and it was an extremely difficult decision that I had to make." On May 26, 1999, Bratt's final episode was aired. In 2009, Bratt returned as the now-retired Curtis on Law & Order, where he was reunited with his former boss, Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), in the episode that aired on December 11, 2009. He returned to his film career that same year.
In 2000, Bratt co-starred with Madonna and Rupert Everett in The Next Best Thing. The following year, he played opposite Sandra Bullock in the romantic comedy Miss Congeniality and had a small role in the ensemble work Traffic, which included Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle and Catherine Zeta-Jones. In 2004, the actor co-starred in Catwoman with Halle Berry and Sharon Stone. Bratt often portrays Hispanic characters, especially in his later work. Bratt said, "I've played 'Latin-looking spiv, third from the right so many times I can't count." In 2001, he starred in the biopic film Piñero, for which he received an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor. He played Puerto Rican actor and poet Miguel Piñero.
In 2017, Bratt served as a Consulting Producer for the documentary film Dolores, directed by Peter Bratt; they supported the American Indian Movement. The film received critical acclaim and many awards. In 2009, Bratt performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Bratt was passionate about his opportunity to play a Tlicho Indian in the film The Lesser Blessed, which he valued because of his own Native background.
Bratt has appeared in several television shows since 2000, including starring as Jahil Rivera on Star and William Banks in The Cleaner. He played Dr. Jake Reilly in 36 episodes of Private Practice. He also appeared in such notable series as Frasier, 24: Live Another Day and E-Ring. Bratt appeared in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie and Homicide: Life on the Street as Rey Curtis, his role in Law & Order. His later popular films include The Woodsman, Snitch, Trucker, Thumbsucker, The Great Raid, Ride Along 2, and The Infiltrator.
Bratt has featured in five animated feature films, which include El Macho, the main antagonist, in Despicable Me 2. He played Manny the cameraman in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and reprised his role in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Also, in 2015, he voiced Superman in Justice League: Gods and Monsters. In the 2017 film Coco, Bratt voiced Ernesto de la Cruz, the main antagonist who was a Mexican folk legend and main character Miguel's idol. Bratt sings "Remember Me," a popular song in the film that is sung by many other characters throughout. "Remember Me" won Best Original Song at the 2018 Academy Awards; Coco won Best Animated Feature.
In 2016, Bratt played Jonathan Pangborn, a former sorcerer using his powers to regain the full use of his body, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bratt starred opposite Nicolas Cage in the 2019 action-thriller film A Score to Settle, directed by Shawn Ku with a release date for August 2.
Activism and philanthropy
Bratt has for years supported and served as a board member of the San Francisco Bay Area's Friendship House Association of American Indians and the Native American Health Center. Bratt also has supported area organizations such as the Tribal Athletics Program, and United Indian Nations.
In 2002, he began dating actress Talisa Soto; they married on April 13 in San Francisco. The two had met ten years earlier during a casting audition. During the filming of Piñero (2001) they began to develop a relationship. Their first child, daughter Sophia Rosalinda Bratt, was born on December 6, 2002; their second child, son Mateo Bravery Bratt, was born on October 3, 2005.
His brother, Peter Bratt, wrote and directed the film Follow Me Home (1996), featuring Benjamin as Abel. Additionally, Peter wrote and directed the independent film La Mission (2009), starring Benjamin as Che Rivera, an inhabitant of the Mission District.
|1988||Lovers, Partners & Spies||Esteban|
|1989||Nasty Boys||Eduardo Cruz|
|1991||One Good Cop||Detective Felix|
|Chains of Gold||Carlos|
|1993||Blood in Blood Out||Paco Aguilar|
|Demolition Man||Officer Alfredo Garcia|
|1994||Clear and Present Danger||Captain Ramírez|
|The River Wild||Ranger Johnny|
|1996||Follow Me Home||Abel||Producer|
|2000||The Next Best Thing||Ben Cooper|
|The Last Producer||Damon Black|
|Red Planet||Lieutenant Ted Santen|
|Miss Congeniality||FBI Agent Eric Matthews|
|2002||Abandon||Detective Wade Handler|
|Catwoman||Detective Tom Lone|
|The Great Raid||Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci|
|2007||Love in the Time of Cholera||Dr. Juvenal Urbino|
|2008||Trucker||Leonard 'Len' Bonner|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Manny||Voice|
|The People Speak||Himself|
|La Mission||Che Rivera||Producer|
|2013||Snitch||Juan Carlos 'El Topo' Pintera|
|The Lesser Blessed||Jed|
|Despicable Me 2||Eduardo Perez / El Macho||Voice|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||Manny|
|2015||Justice League: Gods and Monsters||Lor-Zod / Hernan Guerra / Superman|
|2016||Ride Along 2||Antonio Pope|
|Special Correspondents||John Baker|
|The Infiltrator||Roberto Alcaino|
|Doctor Strange||Jonathan Pangborn|
|2017||Shot Caller||Sheriff Sanchez|
|Coco||Ernesto de la Cruz||Voice|
|2019||A Score to Settle||'Q'|
|2020||Best Summer Ever||Daphne's Dad|
|TBA||Dead for a Dollar||Filming|
|1987||Juarez||Sergeant Rosendo Juarez||Television film|
|1988||Police Story: Gladiator School||Officer Dave Ramirez||Television film|
|1988–1989||Knightwatch||Tony Maldonado||9 episodes|
|1989–1990||Nasty Boys||Eduardo Cruz||13 episodes|
|1993||Shadowhunter||Nakai Twobear||Television film|
|1994||Texas||Benito Garza||Television film|
|1995–2009||Law & Order||Detective Rey Curtis||95 episodes, main role (S6-S9), guest (S20, Ep11)|
|1996–1999||Homicide: Life on the Street||Detective Rey Curtis||3 episodes|
|1996||Woman Undone||Jim Mercer||Television film|
|1998||Exiled: A Law & Order Movie||Detective Rey Curtis||Television film|
|2001||After the Storm||Arno||Television film|
|2003||Frasier||Kevin, The Caller||Episode: "The Doctor Is Out"|
|2005–2006||E-Ring||Lieutenant Colonel Jim Tisnewski||23 episodes|
|2008||The Andromeda Strain||Dr. Jeremy Stone||2 episodes|
|2008–2009||The Cleaner||William Banks||26 episodes|
|2009||American Experience||Narrator||3 episodes|
|2010–2020||Modern Family||Javier Delgado||6 episodes|
|2011–2013||Private Practice||Dr. Jake Reilly||36 episodes|
|2014||24: Live Another Day||Steve Navarro||10 episodes|
|2016–2018||Star||Jahil Rivera||Main cast|
|TBA||DMZ||Parco Delgado||Main cast, miniseries|
Awards and nominations
|1996||NCLR Bravo Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series||Law & Order||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series|
|OFTA Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series|
|ALMA Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|Outstanding Actor in Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series||Exiled: A Law & Order Movie|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Law & Order||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series|
|2001||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Traffic||Won|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Screen Combo||The Next Best Thing (with Madonna)||Nominated|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy||Miss Congeniality||Won|
|2002||ALMA Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Piñero|
|HOLA Awards||Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence||Himself|
|2005||Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Screen Combo||Catwoman (with Halle Berry)||Nominated|
|2009||PRISM Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline||The Cleaner||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series|
|Imagen Awards||Best Actor – Television||Nominated|
|2010||Best Actor – Film||La Mission||Won|
|2012||ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Actor||Private Practice||Nominated|
|2013||Imagen Awards||Best Actor – Television|
- Vanity Fair. 2002 – via Google Books.
- "How Hollywood Gave 'Cholera' a Delicate Treatment". The Washington Post. November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Benjamin Bratt: 1963—: Actor Biography". biography.jrank.org. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- Liz Braun (November 14, 2007). "Benjamin Bratt gets personal". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Michigan Marriages 1868–1925". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "California Marriage Index 1960–1985". Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Colorado Divorce Index 1966–1984". Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Benjamin Bratt". Native Networks. December 2, 2001. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Law and Order Comes to UCSB". Coastlines. Summer 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "We Shall Remain". PBS. April 13, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Friendship House". Friendshiphousesf.org. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "HOLA Awards 2003". hellohola.org. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (July 11, 2001). "Julia Roberts Lays It on the Line – David Letterman, Julia Roberts". People. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (December 17, 2002). "New Bratt in the House for Ben, Talisa". people.com. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
- "Benjamin Bratt & Wife Have a Boy". people.com. October 7, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
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