Oscar Actors: Del Toro, Benicio (Traffic, 21 Grams)

Benicio Del Toro has earned critical accolades throughout his career, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2000 for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic.

He received a second Oscar nomination in 2003 for his work in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s 21 Grams.

Del Toro reteamed with Soderbergh to star in the biography of Che Guevera Che. The performance won him the Best Actor award at the Palme D’Or closing ceremony at Cannes in 2008, and again the following year at the Goya Awards in Madrid Spain.

He can next be seen starring in Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s drama A Perfect Day, with Olga Kurylenko and Tim Robbins. He also stars at Pablo Escobar in The Weinstein Company’s Escobar: Paradise Lost.

Del Toro’s previous works include Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice; Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Enterprises Sci-Fi action film Guardians of the Galaxy; Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy P; Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman; Oliver Stone’s Savages; the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel Sin City, directed by Robert Rodriquez; Peter Weir’s Fearless; George Huang’s Swimming with Sharks; Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral; Guy Ritchie’s Snatch; Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner and The Pledge; Christopher McQuarrie’s The Way of the Gun; William Friedkin’s The Hunted; Susanne Bier’s Things We Lost in the Fire starring opposite Halle Berry and as Dr. Gonzo in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Del Toro made his motion picture debut in John Glen’s License to Kill opposite Timothy Dalton’s James Bond and has earned critical acclaim for his performances ever since. In addition to winning an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, his performance also garnered a Golden Globe®, a Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA Awards, the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, as well as citations from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Chicago Film Critics Association. His work in 21 Grams also earned Del Toro the Audience Award for Best Actor at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival. He earned Independent Spirit Awards for his performances as Fred Fenster in Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects; Benny Dalmau in Julian Schnabel’s Basquiat and most recently for best ensemble in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

Born in Puerto Rico, Del Toro grew up in Pennsylvania. He attended the University of California at San Diego, where he appeared in numerous student productions, one of which led to his performing at a drama festival at the Lafayette Theater in New York. Del Toro studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory under the tutelage of Arthur Mendoza.