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The Most Famous

ACTORS from Puerto Rico

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This page contains a list of the greatest Puerto Rican Actors. The pantheon dataset contains 9,996 Actors, 19 of which were born in Puerto Rico. This makes Puerto Rico the birth place of the 37th most number of Actors behind Colombia and Cuba.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Puerto Rican Actors of all time. This list of famous Puerto Rican Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Puerto Rican Actors.

Photo of Raul Julia

1. Raul Julia (1940 - 1994)

With an HPI of 63.15, Raul Julia is the most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages on wikipedia.

Raúl Rafael Carlos Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 – October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor. Born in San Juan, he took an interest in acting while still in school and pursued the career upon completion of his studies. After performing locally for some time, he was convinced by actor and entertainment personality Orson Bean to move and work in New York City. Juliá, who had been bilingual since his childhood, soon gained interest in Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He took over the role of Orson in the Off-Broadway hit Your Own Thing, a rock musical update of Twelfth Night. He performed in mobile projects, including the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Juliá was eventually noticed by producer Joseph Papp, who offered him work in the New York Shakespeare Festival. After gaining visibility, he received roles in two television series, Love of Life and Sesame Street. In 1978, he famously starred alongside Meryl Streep in an electric revival of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte Theater. In 1979, Juliá starred in the original Broadway production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal alongside Roy Scheider and Blythe Danner. For his performance in Two Gentlemen of Verona, he received a nomination for the Tony Award and won a Drama Desk Award. Between 1974 and 1982, Juliá received Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical nominations for Where's Charley?, The Threepenny Opera and Nine. In 1991, Juliá acted alongside Christopher Walken in a revival of Othello and in 1984, he starred in Design for Living with Frank Langella and Jill Clayburgh.He is also known for his performances in films; his film debut came in 1971 acting alongside Al Pacino in The Panic in Needle Park. During the 1980s, he worked in several films; he received two nominations for the Golden Globe Awards, for his performances in Tempest and Kiss of the Spider Woman; he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for the latter. He also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart (1982), Sidney Lumet's The Morning After (1986), Romero (1989) and Clint Eastwood's The Rookie (1990). In 1991 and 1993, Julia portrayed Gomez Addams in two film adaptations of The Addams Family. In 1994, he filmed The Burning Season and a film adaptation of the Street Fighter video games. The same year, Juliá suffered several health afflictions, eventually dying after suffering a stroke. His funeral was held in Puerto Rico, attended by thousands. For his work in The Burning Season, Juliá won a posthumous Golden Globe Award, Primetime Emmy Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award.In 2017, The Daily Telegraph named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination.

Photo of Joaquin Phoenix

2. Joaquin Phoenix (1974 - )

With an HPI of 62.25, Joaquin Phoenix is the 2nd most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 74 different languages.

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix (; né Bottom; born October 28, 1974) is an American actor. He is known for playing dark and unconventional characters in independent films. He has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Grammy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. In 2020, The New York Times named him one of the greatest actors of the 21st century.Phoenix began his career by appearing in television series in the early 1980s with his brother River. His first major film roles were in SpaceCamp (1986) and Parenthood (1989). During this period, he was credited as Leaf Phoenix, a name he gave himself. He took back his birth name in the early 1990s and received critical acclaim for his supporting roles in the comedy-drama To Die For (1995) and the period film Quills (2000). Phoenix received further critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Commodus in the historical drama Gladiator (2000). He had success with the horror films Signs (2002) and The Village (2004), the historical drama Hotel Rwanda (2004), and won a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of musician Johnny Cash in the biopic Walk the Line (2005). Following a brief sabbatical, Phoenix starred in the psychological drama The Master (2012), winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and earning his third Academy Award nomination. He received Golden Globe Award nominations for his roles in the romantic drama Her (2013) and the crime satire Inherent Vice (2014), and won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for the psychological thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017). For his performance as the title character of Joker (2019), Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Phoenix is an animal rights activist. He has been vegan since the age of three and regularly supports charitable causes and has produced several documentaries on global meat consumption and its impact on the environment. He is in a relationship with actress Rooney Mara, with whom he has a son.

Photo of Rita Moreno

3. Rita Moreno (1931 - )

With an HPI of 60.74, Rita Moreno is the 3rd most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Rita Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío Marcano; December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer. She is noted for her work on stage and screen in a career spanning over seven decades. Moreno is one of the last remaining stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Among her numerous accolades, she is one of a few performers to have been awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT) and the Triple Crown of Acting, with individual competitive Academy, Emmy and Tony awards. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2013, the Kennedy Center Honor in 2015, and a Peabody Award in 2019. Moreno's work includes supporting roles in the classic musical films Singin' in the Rain (1952), and The King and I (1956), before her breakout role as Anita in 1961 film West Side Story, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She made history becoming the first Latin American woman to win an Academy Award. She later portrayed Valentina in the 2021 remake directed by Steven Spielberg. Her other notable films include Popi (1969), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Four Seasons (1981), I Like It Like That (1994) and the cult film Slums of Beverly Hills (1998). In theater, she starred as Googie Gomez in the 1975 Terrence McNally musical The Ritz earning her the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She reprised her role in the 1976 film directed by Richard Lester which earned her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress nomination. She also acted in Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window in 1964 and in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple in 1985. She was a cast member on the children's television series The Electric Company (1971-1977), and played Sister Peter Marie Reimondo on the HBO series Oz (1997-2003). She received two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for her roles on The Muppet Show in 1977 and The Rockford Files in 1978. She gained acclaim for her roles in Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? (1994-1999), The CW series Jane the Virgin (2015–2019), and the Netflix revival of One Day at a Time (2017–2020). Her life was profiled in Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It (2021).

Photo of Benicio del Toro

4. Benicio del Toro (1967 - )

With an HPI of 60.60, Benicio del Toro is the 4th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967) is a Puerto Rican actor and producer. He has garnered critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Silver Bear 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 nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He is also known for his breakout role as the eccentric, unintelligible crook Fred Fenster in The Usual Suspects (1995); Benny Dalmau in Basquiat (1996), winning two consecutive Independent Spirit Awards for both films; Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998); gambling addict Franky Four Fingers in Snatch (2000); the predatory, unhinged antagonist Jackie Boy in Sin City (2005); revolutionary Che Guevara in Che (2008), a performance that 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 was nominated for several awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His other roles include portrayals of the Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; drug lord Pablo Escobar in Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014); Lawrence Talbot in the 2010 remake of The Wolfman; and the codebreaker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). In 2018, he starred as Richard Matt in the Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora, for which he received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Photo of José Ferrer

5. José Ferrer (1912 - 1992)

With an HPI of 59.92, José Ferrer is the 5th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón (January 8, 1912 – January 26, 1992) was a Puerto Rican actor and director of stage, film and television. He was one of the most celebrated and esteemed Hispanic American actors—or, indeed, actors of any ethnicity—during his lifetime, and after, with a career spanning nearly 60 years between 1935 and 1992. He achieved prominence for his portrayal of Cyrano de Bergerac in the play of the same name, which earned him the inaugural Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1947. He reprised the role in a 1950 film version and won an Academy Award, making him the first Hispanic actor and the first Puerto Rican-born to win an Oscar. His other notable film roles include Charles VII in Joan of Arc (1948), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (1952), defense attorney Barney Greenwald in The Caine Mutiny (1954), Alfred Dreyfus in I Accuse! (1958), which he also directed; the Turkish Bey in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Siegfried Rieber in Ship of Fools (1965), and Emperor Shaddam IV in Dune (1984). Ferrer also maintained a prolific acting and directing career on Broadway, winning a second Best Actor Tony for The Shrike, and Best Director for The Shrike, The Fourposter, and Stalag 17. Ferrer was the father of actor Miguel Ferrer, the brother of Rafael Ferrer, the grandfather of actress Tessa Ferrer, and the uncle of actor George Clooney. His contributions to American theatre were recognized in 1981, when he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 1985, he received the National Medal of Arts from President Reagan, becoming the first actor so honored.

Photo of Luis Guzmán

6. Luis Guzmán (1956 - )

With an HPI of 54.32, Luis Guzmán is the 6th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Luis Guzmán (born August 28, 1956) is a Puerto Rican actor. His career spans over 40 years and includes a number of films and television series. He has appeared in the Paul Thomas Anderson films Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and the Steven Soderbergh films Out of Sight (1998), The Limey (1999) and Traffic (2000). His other film credits include Q & A (1990), The Hard Way (1991), Carlito's Way (1993) and Keanu (2016). For his role in The Limey, he received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. On television, he starred as Raoul "El Cid" Hernandez on the HBO prison drama Oz (1998–2000), José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha on Narcos (2015), Jesse "Mama" Salander on the CBS medical drama Code Black (2015–18), Hector Contreras on Perpetual Grace, LTD (2019) and Gomez Addams on Wednesday (2022).

Photo of Amaury Nolasco

7. Amaury Nolasco (1970 - )

With an HPI of 53.21, Amaury Nolasco is the 7th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Amaury Nolasco Garrido (born December 24, 1970) is a Puerto Rican actor and producer, best known for the role of Fernando Sucre on the Fox television series Prison Break, and for his role in Transformers.

Photo of David Zayas

8. David Zayas (1962 - )

With an HPI of 48.63, David Zayas is the 8th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

David Zayas (born August 15, 1962) is a Puerto Rican actor. He is best known for his roles as Angel Batista on Showtime's series Dexter and Enrique Morales on the HBO prison drama series Oz.

Photo of Míriam Colón

9. Míriam Colón (1936 - 2017)

With an HPI of 46.44, Míriam Colón is the 9th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Míriam Colón Valle (August 20, 1936 – March 3, 2017) was a Puerto Rican actress. She was the founder and director of New York City's Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Beginning her career in the early 1950s, she performed on Broadway and on television. She appeared on television programs from the 1960s to the 2010s, including Sanford and Son and Gunsmoke. She is best known as Mama Montana, the mother of Al Pacino's title character in Scarface. In 2014, she received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. She died of complications from a pulmonary infection on March 3, 2017, at the age of 80.

Photo of Osvaldo Ríos

10. Osvaldo Ríos (1960 - )

With an HPI of 46.23, Osvaldo Ríos is the 10th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Osvaldo Ríos Alonso (born October 25, 1960 in Carolina, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actor, model, singer, and guitarist, who is best known for his roles in telenovelas. He has appeared in several soap operas, including Abrazame muy Fuerte, Kassandra and the 1996 version of La Viuda de Blanco.

Pantheon has 19 people classified as actors born between 1912 and 1992. Of these 19, 15 (78.95%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Joaquin Phoenix, Rita Moreno, and Benicio del Toro. The most famous deceased actors include Raul Julia, José Ferrer, and Míriam Colón. As of April 2022, 3 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Míriam Colón, Ramón Rodríguez, and Lymari Nadal.

Living Actors

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Deceased Actors

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Newly Added Actors (2022)

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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.