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 13,578 Actors, 19 of which were born in Puerto Rico. This makes Puerto Rico the birth place of the 37th most number of Actors behind Iran, 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 Joaquin Phoenix

1. Joaquin Phoenix (b. 1974)

With an HPI of 63.55, Joaquin Phoenix is the most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages on wikipedia.

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix (; né Bottom; born October 28, 1974) is an American actor. Known for his roles as dark, unconventional and eccentric characters in independent film, in particular period dramas, 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 gained praise 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 titular character of Joker (2019), Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He has since starred in the independent films C'mon C'mon (2021) and Beau Is Afraid (2023), and portrayed the title role in the historical drama Napoleon (2023). 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 Raul Julia

2. Raul Julia (1940 - 1994)

With an HPI of 62.59, Raul Julia is the 2nd most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Raúl Rafael Carlos Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 – October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor. He was known for his intense and varied roles on stage and screen. He started his career in the Public Theatre before transitioning to film. He received numerous accolades including a Drama Desk Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and nominations for four Tony Awards. In 2017, The Daily Telegraph named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination. Born in San Juan, Julia took an interest in acting while in school and pursued the career upon completion of his studies. After performing locally for some time, he was convinced by the actor and entertainment personality Orson Bean to move to New York City. Julia, who had been bilingual since childhood, soon gained interest in Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He performed in mobile projects, including the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Julia was eventually noticed by producer Joseph Papp, who offered him work in the New York Shakespeare Festival. In 1978, Julia starred alongside Meryl Streep in a revival of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte Theater. He received four Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical nominations for Two Gentlemen of Verona (1972), Where's Charley? (1975), The Threepenny Opera (1977), and Nine (1982). Julia starred in the original Broadway production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal (1979). He also starred in revivals of Design for Living (1984), Othello (1991), and his final Broadway role Man of La Mancha (1994). Julia gained prominence for his role as Gomez Addams in two film adaptations of The Addams Family. He received Golden Globe Award nominations for Tempest (1982), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), and Moon Over Parador (1988). He also is known for his film roles in The Panic in Needle Park (1971), One from the Heart (1982), The Morning After (1986), Romero (1989) and Presumed Innocent (1990). In 1994, Julia suffered several health afflictions, eventually dying after suffering a stroke. For his work in The Burning Season he was posthumously awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Television Motion Picture.

Photo of Benicio del Toro

3. Benicio del Toro (b. 1967)

With an HPI of 61.87, Benicio del Toro is the 3rd most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967) is a Puerto Rican actor. He has garnered critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, 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 despairing ex-con turned zealot 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 Rita Moreno

4. Rita Moreno (b. 1931)

With an HPI of 61.64, Rita Moreno is the 4th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

Rita Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío Marcano; December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer. She has performed on stage and screen in a career spanning over eight decades. Moreno is one of the last remaining stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Among her numerous accolades, she is one of the few actors 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. Additional accolades include 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 early work included 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 West Side Story (1961), which earned her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first Latin American woman to win an Academy Award. Her other 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). Moreno portrayed Valentina in the 2021 remake of West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg. 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 José Ferrer

5. José Ferrer (1912 - 1992)

With an HPI of 58.31, 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 for Best Actor, making him the first Hispanic actor and the first Puerto Rican-born to win an Academy Award. 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 (b. 1956)

With an HPI of 55.76, Luis Guzmán is the 6th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Luis Guzmán (born August 28, 1956 in Cayey, Puerto Rico) 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 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 (b. 1970)

With an HPI of 54.16, Amaury Nolasco is the 7th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Amaury Nolasco Garrido (born December 24, 1970) is a Puerto Rican/Dominican 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 Roselyn Sánchez

8. Roselyn Sánchez (b. 1973)

With an HPI of 50.84, Roselyn Sánchez is the 8th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Roselyn Milagros Sánchez Rodríguez (born April 2, 1973) is a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, producer, and writer. On television, she is best known for her roles as Elena Delgado on the CBS police procedural Without a Trace (2005–2009), as Carmen Luna on the Lifetime comedy-drama Devious Maids (2013–2016), and as Elena Roarke on the new Fantasy Island (2021–2023). In film, Sánchez has appeared in Rush Hour 2 (2001), Boat Trip (2002), The Game Plan (2007), and Act of Valor (2012).

Photo of Osvaldo Ríos

9. Osvaldo Ríos (b. 1960)

With an HPI of 49.30, Osvaldo Ríos is the 9th 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.

Photo of Míriam Colón

10. Míriam Colón (1936 - 2017)

With an HPI of 48.68, Míriam Colón is the 10th most famous Puerto Rican Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 17 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.

People

Pantheon has 19 people classified as Puerto Rican actors born between 1912 and 1992. Of these 19, 15 (78.95%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Puerto Rican actors include Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio del Toro, and Rita Moreno. The most famous deceased Puerto Rican actors include Raul Julia, José Ferrer, and Míriam Colón.

Living Puerto Rican Actors

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Deceased Puerto Rican Actors

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Overlapping Lives

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