Benjamin Bratt: Biography
Born in San Francisco, California, on December 16, 1963, Bratt is the third of five children. He is the grandson of Broadway actor George Bratt and the son of a Peruvian Quechua Indian mother from Lima, who moved to the United States at age 14. His father, a sheet-metal worker, and his mother divorced in 1968. In 1969, Bratt's mother, a Native American activist, participated in the takeover of Alcatraz Island. She brought along the five-year-old Benjamin and his brother and sisters. For over a year, they went to Alcatraz two or three times a week, Bratt has said. Bratt grew up in San Francisco, where he attended Lowell High School.
Influenced by his mother's politics and the way he was raised, Bratt's own politics are left of center, and he has been active in Native American issues, including involvement in the American Indian Friendship House in Oakland, California.
Bratt married actress-model Talisa Soto in April 2002. Their first child, Sophia Rosalinda Bratt, was born the following December.
Benjamin Bratt: Career
Benjamin Bratt was already an experienced film and TV actor by the time his four-year stint as Det. Reynaldo "Rey" Curtis on NBC's long-running hit Law and Order made him famous. Born and raised in San Francisco, Bratt studied acting at UC-Santa Barbara and in his hometown. After roles in two short-lived 1980s TV series, Bratt made his film debut as John Travolta's foe in the shelved, then straight-to-cable Chains of Gold (1991). Concentrating on building a movie career, Bratt played supporting roles in the action films Demolition Man (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and The River Wild (1994), as well as one of the lead roles in Bound by Honor (1993), about Chicano gang life. After joining Law and Order in 1995 as the coolly-passionate Curtis, the half-Peruvian Indian, half-Caucasian Bratt's chiseled looks received positive notices along with his acting, but rather than rest on his laurels, Bratt used his hiatus time to produce (with his director brother Peter Bratt) and star in the indie film Follow Me Home (1997). After leaving the show in 1999 (girlfriend Julia Roberts guest-starred in one of Bratt's last episodes), Bratt moved back to San Francisco to be closer to his family and focus on making movies. He costarred as Madonna's paramour in The Next Best Thing (2000).
Untouched by The Next Best Thing's failure, Bratt joined the prestigious ensemble cast of Steven Soderbergh's acclaimed, Oscar-winning narcotics drama Traffic (2000), becoming nearly unrecognizable in a brief appearance as a sleazy drug dealer. Scoring his second Christmas 2000 hit, Bratt played off his smooth, sexy law enforcement officer image as Sandra Bullock's FBI ally-turned-love interest in the comedy Miss Congeniality (2000).
Though the first half of 2001 was marked by his well-publicized break-up with Roberts, Bratt was poised to leave his days as tabloid fodder behind with his lead performance in the independent biopic Piņero (2001). Winning the title role over such high profile Latino actors as Jimmy Smits, Bratt's uncanny evocation of troubled Nuyorican writer and drug casualty Miguel Piņero attracted early dark horse Oscar buzz
Benjamin Bratt: Films
Great Raid (2005), Thumbsucker (2005), The Great Raid (2005), The Woodsman (2004), Catwoman (2004), The Final Hit (2002), Abandon (2002), After the Storm (2001), Pinero (2001), Traffic (2000), Miss Congeniality (2000), Red Planet (2000), The Next Best Thing (2000), The River Wild (1994), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Demolition Man (1993), Bound By Honor (1993), Shadow Hunter (1992), Bright Angel (1991), One Good Cop (1991)