Rosa Maria “Rosie” Perez is an American actress, community activist, talk show host, author, dancer, and choreographer.
Her film breakthrough was in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). She followed this with White Men Can’t Jump (1992), and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fearless (1993). She was also nominated for three Emmy Awards for her work as a choreographer on In Living Color. In 2007, Perez starred on Broadway as Googie Gomez in a revival of The Ritz, and she was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award for her performance in The Take.
Rosie Perez injured her neck in 2009 while filming an episode of Law & Order SVU and underwent surgery to heal a herniated disc. One year after the accident, she appeared at the White House in a wheelchair, wearing a neck brace for a meeting with President Obama. In May 2011, Perez filed a lawsuit against the producers of the show, claiming that the injury she incurred was the result of being “recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and manhandled” during filming.
Rosie Perez is a huge fan of the sport of boxing. In June 2013, she served as the grand marshal for the International Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota, New York.
She starred in and directed the Spanish AIDS PSA campaign “Join the Fight” for Cable Positive and Kismet Films. The campaign featured actor Wilmer Valderrama, BET‘s Julissa Bermudez, Telenovela actor Erick Elías, singer/actress Lorena Rojas, 2006–2007 Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera and actress Judy Marte. An English-language campaign was also directed by Liev Schreiber.
President Barack Obama appointed her to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). She was sworn in on February 2, 2010.