After several years of small roles in movies and on TV, Benjamin Bratt made his name in the late 1990s as lean and hunky detective Reynaldo Curtis on TV's Law & Order. He left the show in 1999 to work in feature films, playing clean-cut straight men in movies such as Red Planet (2000, with Carrie-Anne Moss), Miss Congeniality (2000, starring Sandra Bullock) and Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000, with Benicio Del Toro). He received critical raves and surprised fans with his portrayal of junkie-poet Miguel Piñero in the 2001 film Piñero (co-starring Talisa Soto, his wife since 2002), and proved his versatility as a supporting player in The Woodsman (2004, with Kevin Bacon), Catwoman (2004, starring Halle Berry) and Thumbsucker (2005, with Keanu Reeves). He returned to series television with Dennis Hopper in 2005's Jerry Bruckheimer's E-Ring, but the show was short-lived. Bratt appeared in the 2007 film version of Love in the Time of Cholera (starring Javier Bardem), then began another series, the cable drama The Cleaner, in 2008.
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