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Demián Bichir

Actor

Born: 1 August 1963
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Best known as:

The Oscar-nominated star of the 2011 film A Better Life

Name at birth: Demián Bichir Najera

Demián Bichir is the Mexican actor who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as an illegal immigrant gardener in the 2011 film A Better Life.  Demián Bichir was born in Mexico City to theatrically-minded parents -- his mother was an actress, his father a director. He began acting in the Mexican TV show Rina as a teen, and at age 22 he moved to New York City and then on to Los Angeles to try his acting luck. Having little success, he returned to Mexico, where he found great success as a star of the 1994 crime film Hasta Morir ("'Til Death"), winning a coveted Silver Ariel (the Mexican equivalent of the Oscar) as best actor. Sturdy, quiet, and darkly handsome, he spent the next decade as a movie star in Mexico, most notably starring as a seductive wanderer in Sexo, pudor y lágrimas ("Sex, Shame and Tears"), a hit film that broke Mexican box-office records. Then he returned again to the United States, where Steven Soderbergh cast him as Fidel Castro in the 2008 film Che (with Benicio del Toro as revolutionary leader Che Guevara). Bichir gained more fame on the cable TV show Weeds, playing the powerful drug-running mayor of Tijuana. He then won great reviews -- and an Oscar nomination -- for the 2011 film A Better Life, in which he played a Mexican gardener in East Los Angeles, watching out for his American-born son.

Extra credit:

He pronounces his name "bih-CHEER"… A 2011 profile in The New York Times reported that Demián Bichir "did become a father in May [2011]; the child is the product of a brief -- 'and beautiful, please, beautiful, beautiful' -- romance in Spain last year." The article noted that "Bichir attended the baby’s birth, and she has his surname." The Hollywood Reporter stated in 2012 that the daughter's name is Gala… Demián Bichir's brothers, Bruno Bichir and Odiseo Bichir, are well-known actors in Mexico.

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