Jean-Louis at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
August 8, 1968 |
Jimmy Jean-Louis (born August 8, 1968) is a Haitian actor and model best known for his role as "the Haitian" on the NBC television series Heroes. Born in Pétionville, he moved to Paris at a young age to pursue a modeling career. His early roles were in French musical theatre and television commercials. Eventually settling in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, he had small roles in The Bourne Identity and Arliss before breaking into larger roles in American television and film.
Jean-Louis was born in Pétionville, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lived there until the age of twelve, when he moved to Paris with his family to pursue a modeling career, after moving he experienced a culture shock because of the rural to city lifestyle change. He enrolled in business courses, but quickly realized that his heart lay in performance, and studied at the Académie Internationale de la Danse. His parents returned to Haiti, but Jean-Louis and his brother remained in Paris. Around a decade later in 1991, producers discovered Jean-Louis during one of his dancing stints in a French club, who were impressed. They tapped him to appear in a Coca-Cola advertisement, the success of which prompted the Jean-Louis to spend several years modeling across Europe. He was very successful in London, working for such notables as Gianfranco Ferré and Valentino. Before finding success as a model, he was homeless at times in Paris. By the mid-'90s, he was gracing music videos by such stars as Mariah Carey, Seal, and George Michael, and appearing in low-budget "independent" films in Los Angeles.
Jean-Louis is married to his wife, Evelyn, and they have three children. He enjoys watching and playing soccer and is a member of an amateur soccer club Hollywood United F.C., a team consisting mostly of celebrities and former professionals. He is fluent in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Haitian Creole.
2010 Haiti earthquake efforts
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Jean-Louis went to Haiti to search for his elderly parents in Haiti the day after a powerful earthquake struck the nation. Jean-Louis learned that a house he had grown up in collapsed, killing several of his relatives. He is the founder of Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a non-profit charitable aid organization whose original mission was to provide sports and cultural education to underprivileged youth on the island. The group mobilized for disaster relief after the magnitude-7 earthquake struck. Recently, Jean-Louis has taken part in a series of campaigns for Haitian aid, such as singing in the "We Are The World" remake of the original for Haiti in February 2010 which aired during the start of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
He worked in musical theatre in Spain, spending three years with a musical theater "La Belle Epoque", before moving to Italy where he created a successful career as an international model. In 1995, he appeared in several episodes of an erotic French TV program. Jimmy moved to Los Angeles where he began acting full-time in underground and independent films. This eventually led to him landing a role in Jean-Claude Van Damme's movie Derailed, which set the stage for subsequent roles with other Hollywood A-listers. He went on to have secondary roles in Tears of the Sun, Hollywood Homicide, Monster-in-Law and The Game of Their Lives. He was cast as the romantic lead in the 2006 film Phat Girlz starring opposite Monique Imes Jackson as her love interest. He achieved his most widespread fame, however, when cast in the recurring role of The Haitian on the NBC television series Heroes, who is an associate of Noah Bennet. In an interview on The Post Show on G4, Jimmy Jean-Louis stated that the Haitian was originally supposed to be from New Zealand, and that the character was going to be "The Kiwi", which is a colloquial term for the people of New Zealand. He also stated that he auditioned three times for the role of D.L. Hawkins, a part which he did not get. In 2013, it was announced that he'd been cast in a recurring role in Arrow. He will portray "The Captain", an associate of Professor Ivo. In 2015 he took on a supporting role in the British film, The Cursed Ones.
|The Bourne Identity||Wombosi bodyguard||(uncredited)|
|2003||Tears of the Sun||Gideon|
|Hollywood Homicide||Gianfranco Ferre Clerk|
|This Girl's Life||Action Jackson|
|The Game of Their Lives||Joe Gaetjens|
|2006||Phat Girlz||Dr. Tunde Jonathan|
|Le President a-t-il Le Sida||Dao||Haitian Film by Arnold Antonin|
|2008||Adventures of Power||Aubelin|
|The Ball is Round||Jay Jay Mfede||Also known as Golden Goal! (USA)|
|2009||Diary of a Tired Black Man||James|
|Sinking Sands||Ghanaian movie|
|2012||Toussaint Louverture||Toussaint Louverture||French telefilm|
|2013||One Night In Vegas||Nick|
|2015||The Cursed Ones||Paladin||UK/Ghanaian film by Zissou Pictures Ltd.|
|1993||Emmanuelle's Magic||Tribesman in the hut|
|1993||Emmanuelle in Venice|
|2001||Arliss||Caesar Montenez||1 episode|
|2003||The District||Jean-Paul Bertrand||1 episode|
|Fastlane||Haitian #1||1 episode|
|2005||Dr. Vegas||Xola||1 episode|
|The Shield||Ididsa Okoye||1 episode|
|2007||Heroes Unmasked||Himself||3 episodes|
|2010||Entertainment Tonight||Himself||February 4, 2010|
|The Mo'Nique Show||Himself||February 4, 2010|
|2006–2009||Heroes||The Haitian||Recurring role (32 episodes)|
|2013||Arrow||The Captain||Recurring role|
|2014||Extant||Pierre Lyon||2 episodes|
|2015||Heroes Reborn||The Haitian||Recurring role|
- Jo Piazza, Special to CNN. "'Heroes' actor searching for parents after earthquake". CNN.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- Hiatt, Anna (2010-01-16). "Jimmy Jean-Louis". TV.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "Jimmy Jean-Louis Biography". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
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