Goran Višnjić

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Goran Višnjić
Goran Visnjic (15065848898) (cropped).jpg
Višnjić at Rome Film Festival in 2014
Born (1972-09-09) 9 September 1972 (age 50)
  • Croatia
  • United States (since 2013)[1]
EducationAcademy of Dramatic Art
Alma materUniversity of Zagreb
Years active1988–present
Eva Višnjić
(m. 1999)
RelativesAntun Vrdoljak (father-in-law)

Goran Višnjić (Croatian pronunciation: [ɡǒran ʋîʃɲitɕ]; born 9 September 1972) is a Croatian-American actor who has appeared in American and British films and television productions. He is best known in the United States for his roles as Dr. Luka Kovač in ER and Garcia Flynn in Timeless, both NBC television series. For ER, he and the cast were nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He is the son-in-law of Croatian film director and former head of Croatian Radiotelevision (1991–95), Antun Vrdoljak.[2] He moved to the United States in the late 1990s.[3]

Early life[edit]

Višnjić was born on 9 September 1972 in Šibenik, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia. He has one sibling, an elder brother, Joško. His father, Željko, was a bus driver, and his mother, Milka, worked in a market.[4] He appeared in plays throughout his childhood and made his screen debut at the age of 16 in the controversial Yugoslav film, Braća po materi (1988), playing a young Ustasha.

In 1990, at the age of 18, Višnjić served one-year of obligatory military service in the Yugoslav People's Army as a paratrooper. Only weeks after his military discharge in 1991, as Yugoslavia began to dissolve, he joined the nascent Croatian Ground Army. After leaving the army, he moved to Zagreb to study at the Academy of Dramatic Art.[5][6]


Višnjić was the youngest actor to be chosen for the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival. Originally cast as Laertes and understudy to Hamlet, he took over the role when the star dropped out of the production shortly before the first performance. He portrayed the doomed prince from 1994 to 2000, winning several Orlando Awards (the equivalent of the Tony Award).[7] During an episode of ER, he demonstrated his expertise in the part of Hamlet, by reciting an excerpt from the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy in Croatian.[8][9]

Višnjić in 2012

Prior to ER, he found work in local TV productions and landed a Tuborg beer commercial that aired in Europe.[10] Višnjić also had small speaking roles in films such as The Peacemaker, Committed and Practical Magic. In 1998, he appeared in Madonna's music video "The Power of Good-Bye", and had a cameo in the movie Rounders. It was his role as Risto, the Bosnian driver in Welcome to Sarajevo that led then-producer Jack Orman to offer him a role as a doctor to replace the departing George Clooney in the sixth season of ER in late 1999, eventually becoming the show's male lead by the start of season 12, having taken over from the departing star Noah Wyle, who left after the finale of season 11. By season 14, however, he was only making a limited number of appearances, before completely leaving the show early in season 15 (15x03: "The Book of Abby").[11]

While starring on ER, Višnjić worked on other projects. He starred in the British film Doctor Sleep (2002), alongside Shirley Henderson and Miranda Otto. He co-starred in The Deep End; voiced Soto in Ice Age, and starred in The Last Will and Doctor Sleep. In 2004, he starred in the television miniseries Spartacus and the Croatian movie and television series Long Dark Night. He appeared with Jennifer Garner in Elektra (2005). In 2005, Višnjić was one of four finalists for the role of James Bond, eventually losing out to British actor Daniel Craig, with whom he would appear in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.[11]

In 2008, Višnjić starred in the film Helen, alongside Ashley Judd[12] as Judd's character's husband David in the drama, which made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.[13]

He appeared alongside Carla Gugino in a segment of the 2009 film New York, I Love You, an anthology set in New York. Višnjić's segment was directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev.[14] The segment was cut from the theatrical release of the film[15] but was included in the DVD version.

Višnjić appeared in the historical drama The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, about a young Polish woman who saved the lives of many Jewish children in wartime Warsaw, filmed in Riga, Latvia. It was produced for Hallmark Hall of Fame and aired on CBS on 19 April 2009.[16] He completed a role in Mike Mills' independent film, Beginners.[17] In late 2009, he was cast as Samson in the miniseries The Deep, shown on BBC One in 2010.[18]

He appeared as Andrija Hebrang in the historical drama Tito on Croatian television. He later appeared in the unsold 2010 pilot of ABC's Boston's Finest, playing a disgraced cop who works with a female officer to solve crimes while trying to clear his name.[19] In 2011, he appeared in the two-episode season three finale of the television series Leverage, as international crime financier Damien Moreau, his first guest appearance on an English-language television program.[11] In 2011, he played Dragan Armansky, the head of a security agency, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and he has signed on to play this role for the entire film trilogy produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.[20] He was featured on a four-episode arc of the American television series Pan Am; he played a Yugoslavian attaché to the United Nations.[11]

In 2014, Goran played John Woods, the husband of Molly Woods, in Extant, produced by Steven Spielberg. Although the series was renewed in late 2014, Višnjić left the series early in the second season.[21][22]

From 2016 to 2018, he played former NSA asset Garcia Flynn in NBC's time travel television series Timeless.[23][24][25]

In 2019, Višnjić portrayed Ante Gotovina in the Antun Vrdoljak-directed film General. His performance, along with the film itself gained overwhelmingly negative reviews[26][27][28] with many critics, including Milivoj Jukić and Jurica Pavičić calling his portrayal "the worst performance of his career".[29][30] The critically and commercially panned film was screened at the Pula Film Festival.[31]

Visnjic played Nikola Tesla in the twelfth series of Doctor Who, appearing in the fourth episode, "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror", first broadcast on 19 January 2020. In early 2020, Višnjić was cast as Count Dracula in the unsold ABC drama pilot The Brides, which was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.[32]


Višnjić was named People magazine's Sexiest Import in 1999 and "One of TV's Sexiest Men" in the June 5–11, 2005 TV Guide. He was ranked #18 in Croatian-based monthly film magazine Hollywood in Best Croatian Male Movie Stars of All Time list in November 2005. He was also named as the Best Croatian actor in 2004 according to the votes of the visitors of internet magazines, for his role in the movie Duga mračna noć, according to the votes of Croatian newspaper Večernji list.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Višnjić in 2012

He has supported a number of medical institutions in Croatia through the donation of money and equipment. In 2008 he appeared on the nationally broadcast American benefit program Stand Up to Cancer.[34][35][36] He served as one of the faces of ER on NBC's long-running The More You Know campaign, appearing in public service announcements discussing topics such as family time and tolerance.[37]

His wife, Eva (born Ivana Vrdoljak), is an artist and sculptor, and the daughter of film director Antun Vrdoljak, who controversially headed Hrvatska radiotelevizija from 1991–95. The couple have two adopted children and one biological child.[38][39] They reside in Los Angeles, California, and also have a home on the Croatian island of Hvar. Višnjić acknowledged paternity of a daughter, Lana Lourdes Rupić, whom he fathered in 2006 with a Croatian woman, Mirela Rupić.[40]

In his spare time, Višnjić enjoys swimming, diving and fencing.[41]

In September 2015, Višnjić and his wife announced that they had sold their home in Los Angeles for a sum of about $5 million.[42]

He supported Croatian Democratic Union candidate Mato Franković for Mayor of Dubrovnik in the 2017 elections.[43]

In 2021, Višnjić and his wife moved from Los Angeles to the UK.[44]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Braća po materi Ustaša
1993 Paranoja Short film
1995 See You Maks
1997 Tranquilizer Gun Devetka – '9'
Welcome to Sarajevo Risto Bavić
The Peacemaker Bazta Sergeant
1998 Rounders Maurice
Practical Magic Jimmy Angelov
2000 Committed Neil
2001 The Deep End Alek 'Al' Spera
The Last Will Bepo Stambuk
2002 Ice Age Soto (voice)
Close Your Eyes Michael Strother
2004 Long Dark Night Ivan 'Iva' Kolar
2005 Elektra Mark Miller
2009 New York, I Love You Man
Helen David Leonard
2011 Beginners Andy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Dragan Armansky
2012 Execution Style The Chemist
Dark Hearts Armand
K-11 Raymond Saxx Jr.
2013 95 Decibels Dr. Corry Short film
The Counselor[45] Michael
2014 Asthma Ragen
The Journey Home Muktuk
2017 Never Here S
The Tribes of Palos Verdes Joe
2019 General Ante Gotovina
2020 Fatima Artur de Oliveira Santos
2022 Hellraiser Roland Voight


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Michele va alla guerra Soldier
1995 Night Watch U.N. Security Officer Television film
1998 Teško je reći zbogom Davor
1999–2009 ER Dr. Luka Kovač
2003 American Masters: Robert Capa: In Love and War Robert Capa Voice role
2004 Spartacus Spartacus
2005 Long Dark Night Ivan Kolar
2006 Naša mala klinika Man on the telephone Episode: "Bijeli miševi"
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Stefan Zgrzembski
2010 Boston's Finest Angus Martin Unsold pilot
Tito Andrija Hebrang
The Deep Samson Mini-series
Leverage Damien Moreau 2 episodes
2011–2012 Pan Am Niko Lonza 4 episodes
2013 Red Widow Nicholae Schiller
2014 Extant John Woods Main, season 1; Recurring, season 2
2015 Crossing Lines Marco Constante Main, season 3
2016–2018 Timeless Garcia Flynn Series regular
2019 Santa Clarita Diet Dobrivoje Poplovic 4 episodes[46]
Dollface Dr. Colin Brooks Recurring
This Is Us Vincent Kelly Series 3, guest
2020 Doctor Who Nikola Tesla Series 12; guest[47]
The Boys Alastair Adana Recurring season 2
The Brides Count Dracula Main role

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Title Notes
1998 Tony Cetinski "Život" ("Life") Croatian music video
1998 Madonna "The Power of Good-Bye" Višnjić makes an appearance
2007 Unkle "Burn My Shadow" Appears in the accompanying "making of" video released with the music video[48]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film/TV Show Result
1997 Orlando Award Best Drama Achievement Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series ER Nominated
2001 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series ER Nominated
2002 Golden Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama The Deep End Nominated
2004 Pula Film Festival Best Actor Long Dark Night Won
Paris Film Festival Award Best Actor Doctor Sleep Won
2011 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Beginners Won


  1. ^ "Croatia's Most Famous Hollywood Export Gets U.S Citizenship". Croatia Week. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Goran Visnjic Profile - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  3. ^ Allen, Ted. "Who Is Goran Visnjic and What Does He Want?", Esquire Magazine, March 2001.
  4. ^ "Goran Visnjic - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  5. ^ Knutzen, Eirik (17 December 2000). "A Prescription For Success Goran Visnjic Stepped Off The Croatian Stage And Quickly Into The "Er" On Nbc [sic]". philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015.
  6. ^ Allen, Ted (March 2001). "Who Is Goran Visnjic and What Does He Want?". Esquire Magazine.
  7. ^ "Goran Visnjic biography and filmography - Goran Visnjic Movies". tribute.ca. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Goran Visnjic- Croatian Hamlet". YouTube. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  9. ^ "ER: Secrets and Lies Episode Trivia". TV.com. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Goran Visnjic Biography - Starpulse.com". StarPulse. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Goran Višnjić at IMDb
  12. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (28 September 2007). "BBC celebrates Fry's birthday". Variety.
  13. ^ "Sundance Festival 2009". Festival.sundance.org. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  14. ^ Perry, Byron (27 April 2008). "Carla Gugino, Goran Visnjic". Variety. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Scarlett Suffers Direct Blow". New York Post. 2 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Culture". Andrejsala.lv. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (8 November 2009). "Visnjic added to 'Beginners' cast". Variety.
  18. ^ BBC Press Office (December 17, 2009). "James Nesbitt, Minnie Driver and Goran Visnjic star in new BBC One drama serial, The Deep", bbc.co.uk; retrieved December 17, 2009.
  19. ^ "Goran Visnjic among latest pilot castings". The Hollywood Reporter. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Interstitial". Deadline.com. 23 August 2010. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  21. ^ "'ER' Star Cast as Halle Berry's Husband in CBS' 'Extant'". The Hollywood reporter. 29 January 2014.
  22. ^ "'Extant' Season 2 Spoilers: Goran Visnjic Leaves Series, But Will Make an Appearance at Start of Upcoming Season". Latin Post. 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Goran Visnjic Joins NBC's Time Travel Drama Pilot as the Big Bad". TV Line. 8 March 2016.
  24. ^ "NBC's 'Time' Travel Pilot from Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan Casts Goran Visnjic". Spinoff Online. 8 March 2016.
  25. ^ "Goran Visnjic To Co-Star In NBC's 'Time' Travel Pilot From Eric Kripke & Shawn Ryan". Deadline. 8 March 2016.
  26. ^ Pavlić, Zrinka (12 August 2019). "'General' - kupus od filma u koji je Vrdoljak nadrobio rat, sapunice, domoljublje i malo seksa bez ikakvog reda i smisla". Tportal.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  28. ^ Pavičić, Jurica (14 July 2019). "'GENERAL JE SUH, SIV I DOSADAN' Filmski kritičar Jutarnjeg Jurica Pavičić pogledao je najiščekivaniji hrvatski film stoljeća - film o Anti Gotovini". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  29. ^ KRITIKE Vrdoljakov film General ne prestaje podizati prašinu, A OGLASIO SE I SAM ANTE GOTOVINA
  30. ^ PUBLIKA NIJE ODUŠEVLJENA - GAFOVIMA NEMA KRAJA Serija 'General' opet niže kritike: Koji treš, ovo je bolje od 'Krv nije voda'
  31. ^ "Jutarnji list - DRUŠTVENE MREŽE SA ZANIMANJEM ISPRATILE I FINIŠ 'GENERALA' Komentatori ponovno imali brojne kritike, ali nećete vjerovati - pali su i neki komplimenti". 27 January 2020.
  32. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (9 March 2020). "Goran Višnjić To Play Dracula In 'The Brides' ABC Supernatural Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  33. ^ Basara, Emina (18 February 2005). "Trinaest veličanstvenih!" [Magnificent thirteen] (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Stand Up To Cancer - "Just Stand Up" Star-Studded Charitable Single Sets Pace For SU2C Fundraising Campaign"". standup2cancer.org. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  35. ^ "Goran Visnjic Photos - Stand Up to Cancer - Arrivals - Zimbio". Zimbio. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  36. ^ "Stand Up to Cancer - Arrivals/Getty Images". Getty Images. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  37. ^ "NBC's 'The More You Know' Launches Its 16th Season of Public Service Announcements with New Theme and New Look". The Futon Critic. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  38. ^ "Vigo Leo Visnjic". GoGoranVisnjicAtBleuProfond2.com. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Vivien Sofia Visnjic". GoGoranVisnjicAtBleuProfond2.com. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  40. ^ "'ER' Star Admits Paternity of Croatian Baby Girl". BuddyTV. 28 November 2007. Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  41. ^ "Goran Visnjic Biography". BuddyTV. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  42. ^ "Goran Visnjic Lists Mediterranean Villa Above Sunset Strip". Variety. 16 September 2015.
  43. ^ "Višnjić snimio video u kojem podržava HDZ-ovog kandidata za gradonačelnika Dubrovnika". Večernji list. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  44. ^ Husejnović, Karmelina; Vadnjal, Simon (30 March 2022). "Goran Višnjić pravi, da je 'len vegan' in da se je pri 14 letih naučil voziti traktor" [Goran Višnjić says he is a 'lazy vegan' and learned to drive a tractor at the age of 14]. 24ur.com.
  45. ^ "Goran Visnjic Joins 'The Counselor'". Blogs.indiewire.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  46. ^ "Santa Clarita Diet Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  47. ^ Boucher, Geoff (22 November 2019). "'Doctor Who': Goran Višnjić, Robert Glenister To Join Stephen Fry As Guest Stars In Upcoming Season". Deadline. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  48. ^ Kabi (26 February 2004). "Unkle – War Stories". Unkle-war-stories.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.

External links[edit]