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30 Interesting Facts About Rosie Perez You Probably Didn’t Know Before

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Rosie Perez
(Photo : David Shankbone)

Rosie Perez, with her petite figure and heavy Brooklyn accent, is an American actress, choreographer and community activist. An Academy Award nominee, she has been through so many things since her childhood days, having hardly received any kind of affection from her mother. She still managed to come out smiling, just as the title of her autobiography suggests. Here are some little known facts about the actress that will make you love her more:

    Rosie Perez"Rosie Perez" by Youth Radio is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  1.  She directed and starred in the Spanish AIDS PSA campaign "Join the Fight" for Cable Positive and Kismet Films. An English language campaign was also directed by Liev Schreiber.
  2.  President Barack Obama appointed her to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and was sworn in on February 2, 2010.
  3.  With her role as Carla Rodrigo in the Peter Weir’s 1993 movie “Fearless,” she received her first Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category.
  4.  Rosie published an autobiography “Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling” in February 2014.
  5.  She did not intend to write an autobiography, as her initially focus was to analyze the causes and effects of child abuse. But, ended up writing her life experiences.
  6.  Rosa Perez was born on September 6, 1964, to Ismael Serrano and Lydia Perez in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
  7.  Her father was a merchant marine seaman from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. He mother was married to a man Arturo Perez, a man 20 years her senior.
  8.  Her mother already had five children with Perez, and Rosie was her sixth child, born out of an affair with Serrano. Rosie is one of the ten children birthed by her mother.
  9.  She was born at the now-closed Greenpoint Hospital, and grew up in Bushwick, while her mother was intermittently jailed. Her mother was incarcerated when she gave birth to her youngest child.
  10.  For a period of time, she and her siblings were raised by her aunt, but later went through group homes and foster care.
  11. Rosie Perez"Rosie Perez" by FlySi is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  12.  Until the age of 8, she lived in foster care in New York and Peekskill, where her mother and aunt frequently visited. Her father even made an unsuccessful custody bid at one point.
  13.  She moved with her paternal aunt Ana Dominga Otero Serrano-Roque to the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, where she attended Grover Cleveland High School.
  14.  Her mother Lydia died of AIDS related complications in the year 1999. At that time, she was living in poverty in the Woodside houses.
  15.  During her childhood, she and her siblings had suffered abuse from her mother, which had resulted in high anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
  16.  She attended the Los Angeles City College, and intended to major in biochemistry. But dropped out of college, after appearing on the show “Soul Train,” as dance. Her sister Sally Pabon was also on “Soul Train” with her.
  17.  She was noticed by Spike Lee, when she was in the dance club Funky Reggae in the year 1988. Lee immediately hired her for the role of Tina in the movie “Do the Right Thing.”
  18.  Perez went on to choreograph music videos by The Boys, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Bobby Brown and LL Cool J. She was also the choreographer for the dancing group – Fly Girls.
  19.  In January 2000, she was arrested for disorderly conduct in New York City following a rally to protest United States Navy bomb tests on Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico.
  20.  Rosie made her Broadway debut in the Terrence McNally play “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”
  21.  During the filming of the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” – “Hardwired” episode, she suffered severe injuries - two herniated discs, a bulging disk, three sprained ligaments, and a pinched nerve.
  22. Rosie Perez"Rosie Perez" by ellasportfolio is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  23.  It was during the scene that called for an extra to violently shake her. She underwent surgery to repair her injuries, nearly a year later, and still has the scars on her neck and hip.
  24.  She filed a lawsuit against the producers, due to the injuries she sustained while filming. She won the lawsuit and got a settlement.
  25.  Perez serves as the chair of the artistic board for Urban Arts Partnership, a New York City arts education nonprofit which focuses on arts integrated education programs.
  26.  She got married to filmmaker and playwright Seth Zvi Rosenfeld in the year 1998, after being a long-time relationship. However, the couple divorced in 2001.
  27.  The wedding ceremony was held in Brooklyn, and most of her family members attended it. Few of her siblings - oldest brother Jay Perez, second oldest brother Ray Perez, youngest sister Lydia Pabon and sister Sally Pabon, reside in New York City.
  28.  Following her injuries sustained from filming “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” – “Hardwired” episode, her doctor advised her to drop out the 2010 “Lies in Plain Sight,” as she would not be able to complete it.
  29.  However, she refused to back down from the project and continued to work for another week. She was in tremendous pain the entire time she worked, still filmed all her scenes perfectly.
  30.  Rosie married artist Eric Haze on September 15, 2013, in Las Vegas. The couple decided to get married just the night before while watching the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saúl álvarez boxing match. They currently resides in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
  31.  During the filming of the fight scene between her character Carol and Saul, played by James Franco, in the 2008 movie “Pineapple Express,” most of it was improvised, as Franco was worried that he would hurt her.
  32.  He would constantly ask for her permission before doing anything during the fight. Still, Perez ended up getting hurt, as she got a bruise in her thigh, when Franco accidentally bit her too hard. She did not tell him about it, until the filming was completed, so that he will not feel bad about it.
  33.  Rosie Perez Net Worth: $12 Million

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