Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro Biography

Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro, born on February 19, 1967 in San Germán, Puerto Rico, is a renowned actor and producer. He spent his childhood in the barrio of Santurce in San Juan and was raised as a Roman Catholic. He attended the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro, a Catholic school in Miramar, Puerto Rico.

At the young age of nine, del Toro’s life was impacted by the loss of his mother to hepatitis. At 15, he moved to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania with his father and brother to attend Mercersburg Academy, where he finished high school.

He initially pursued a business degree at the University of California, San Diego, but found his calling in acting after taking an elective drama course. Del Toro went on to study with prominent acting coaches Stella Adler and Arthur Mendoza in Los Angeles and Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.


In the late 1980s, Benicio del Toro made his television debut with small roles as drug dealers and thugs on shows like Miami Vice and the NBC miniseries Drug Wars: The Camarena Story. He also appeared in Madonna’s 1987 music video La Isla Bonita. He made his film debut in Big Top Pee-wee (1988) and went on to play henchman Dario in the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989). A few smaller roles followed, including The Indian Runner (1991), Fearless (1993), and Money for Nothing in the same year.

Benicio Del Toro’s big break came in 1995 with his portrayal of Fred Fenster in Box Office smash The Usual Suspects, which won him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. This led to many more roles and his career snowballed with roles in films like The Funeral (1996), Basquiat (1996), and The Fan (1996) alongside Robert De Niro. He gained significant weight to play the role of Dr. Gonzo in the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), which won him many plaudits.

2000 was a significant year for Benicio del Toro. The actor starred in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, for which he won the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also appeared in Guy Ritchie’s comedy gangster movie Snatch as Franky Four Fingers, and Sena Penn’s The Pledge.

In 2008, del Toro won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of Che Guevara in the biographical films The Argentine and Guerrilla. He starred in and produced the remake of The Wolf Man (1941) in 2010. Del Toro also appeared as The Collector in the Marvel Studios films Thor: The Dark World (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He starred as Alejandro Gillick in the critically acclaimed Sicario (2015) and reprised the role for its sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), and played the supporting antagonist DJ in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). In 2021, he starred as Moses Rosenthaler in the Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch.

Benicio del Toro Movies

Big Top Pee-weeDuke, The Dog-Faced Boy1988
Licence to KillDario1989
The Indian RunnerMiguel Aguilera1991
Christopher Columbus: The DiscoveryAlvaro Harana1992
FearlessManny Rodrigo1993
Golden BallsBob, the friend from Miami1993
Money for NothingDino Palladino1993
Swimming with SharksRex1994
China MoonDetective Lamar Dickey1994
The Usual SuspectsFred Fenster1995
The FuneralGaspare Spoglia1996
The FanJuan Primo1996
Cannes ManHimself1996
BasquiatBenny Dalmau1996
JoyrideDetective López1996
Excess BaggageVincent Roche1997
Fear and Loathing in Las VegasDr. Gonzo1998
TrafficJavier Rodríguez Rodríguez2000
The Way of the GunHarold Longbaugh2000
SnatchFranky "Four Fingers"2000
Bread and RosesHimself2000
The PledgeToby Jay Wadenah2001
21 GramsJack Jordan2003
The HuntedSergeant Aaron Hallam2003
Sin CityLieutenant Jack "Iron Jack" Rafferty / "Jackie Boy"2005
Things We Lost in the FireJerry Sunborne2007
CheChe Guevara2008
The WolfmanLawrence Talbot / The Wolfman2010
The UpsetterNarrator2011
SavagesMiguel "Lado" Arroyo2012
7 Days in Havana2012
Jimmy PicardJimmy Picard2013
Thor: The Dark WorldTaneleer Tivan / The Collector2013
Guardians of the GalaxyTaneleer Tivan / The Collector2014
Inherent ViceSauncho Smilax2014
Escobar: Paradise LostPablo Escobar2014
A Perfect DayMambrú2015
SicarioAlejandro Gillick2015
The Little PrinceThe Snake2015
Star Wars: The Last JediD.J.2017
Avengers: Infinity WarTaneleer Tivan / The Collector2018
Sicario: Day of the SoldadoAlejandro Gillick2018
Dora and the Lost City of GoldSwiper The Fox2019
No Sudden MoveRonald Russo2021
The French DispatchMoses Rosenthaler2021

Benicio del Toro TV Appearances

TV ShowRoleYear
Shell GamePedroza1987
Miami VicePito1987
Private EyeCarlos1987
Drug Wars: The Camarena StoryRafael Caro Quintero1990
Tales from the CryptBill1994
Fallen AngelsPaco1995
Todos Contra JuanHimself2008
Escape at DannemoraRichard Matt2018
What If...?Taneleer Tivan / The Collector (voice)2021

Benicio del Toro Awards

The Usual Suspects1995National Board of Review AwardsBest Cast
The Usual Suspects1996Independent Spirit AwardsBest Supporting Male
Basquiat1997Independent Spirit AwardsBest Supporting Male
Traffic2000San Diego Film Critics Society AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2000Toronto Film Critics Association AwardsBest Actor
Traffic2001Academy AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001American Latino Media Arts AwardsOutstanding Latino Cast
Traffic2001Berlin International Film Festival AwardsSilver Bear for Best Actor
Traffic2001Blockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Supporting Actor – Drama
Traffic2001British Academy Film AwardsBest Actor in a Supporting Role
Traffic2001Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001Chlotrudis AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001Florida Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001Golden Globe AwardsBest Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Benicio del Toro2001Imagen AwardsLasting Image Award
Traffic2001National Society of Film Critics AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001New York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001Online Film Critics Society AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Traffic2001Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Traffic2001Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Traffic2001Vancouver Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Actor
Benicio del Toro2002Sundance Film Festival AwardsPiper-Heidsieck Tribute to Independent Vision Award
21 Grams2003Venice Film Festival AwardsLeone del Pubblico Prize for Best Actor
21 Grams2003Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting Actor
21 Grams2004Independent Spirit AwardsSpecial Distinction Award
21 Grams2004International Cinephile Society AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Che2008Cannes Film Festival AwardsBest Actor
Che2009Goya AwardsBest Actor
Guardians of the Galaxy2014Detroit Film Critics Society AwardsBest Ensemble
Benicio del Toro2014San Sebastián International Film Festival AwardsDonostia Award
Sicario2015Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Sicario2015Hollywood Film AwardsBest Supporting Actor
Inherent Vice2015Independent Spirit AwardsRobert Altman Award
Benicio del Toro2015Sarajevo Film Festival AwardsHeart of Sarajevo
Benicio del Toro2018CinemaCon AwardsMale Star of the Year
The French Dispatch2021Detroit Film Critics Society AwardsBest Ensemble
The French Dispatch2022Austin Film Critics Association AwardsBest Ensemble
Benicio del Toro2022Karlovy Vary International Film Festival AwardsPresident's Award