Benjamin Bratt is an American actor who has acted in and produced a long list of movies and television shows for over 30 years. Bratt has received numerous awards for his work, including the ALMA award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Benjamin Bratt was born in San Francisco, CA, on December 16, 1963, to Eldy and Peter Bratt and grew up with his four siblings. His mother was a political activist and nurse born in Lima, Peru, and moved to the United States when she was 14. His father, Peter, was a sheet metal worker of English and German ancestry.
Bratt attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and earned his B.F.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While he enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater, he left before graduation to begin his acting career.
When did Benjamin Bratt start acting?
Bratt first appeared in the television movie Juarez in 1987 while at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Juarez received positive feedback, and Bratt then landed various film and TV roles, including Police Story: Gladiator School, Lovers, Partners & Spies, Knightwatch, and One Good Cop.
The 6’2” actor gained international attention when he replaced Chris Noth on the hit television series Law & Order. From then, Bratt went on to star in a slew of movies and soon became a household name.
Notable Acting Roles
While Bratt’s resume is lengthy, several roles are most notable.
Nasty Boys was an NBC drama series that aired from 1989-1990 and was based on actual narcotics officers in the North Las Vegas Police Department. A young Bratt played Eduardo Cruz and appeared in all 13 episodes of the short-lived series alongside Nia Peeples.
Bratt played a former gang member turned LAPD officer in the 1993 film Blood In, Blood Out, which was filmed inside the San Quentin State Prison and various areas of Los Angeles. Although the film only made $4.5 million with a budget of $35 million, the movie went on to become a cult classic.
Starring alongside Sandra Bullock, Bratt appeared in the 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality. The movie centered around an F.B.I agent, Bullock, who goes undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant to stop a potential bombing of the event. Bratt teams up with Bullock, and as with all great undercover F.B.I. movies, the two eventually fall in love.
Bratt starred with Halle Berry in the 2004 film Catwoman as Tom Lone, the detective who acts as the love interest of Catwoman. The movie earned $82.1 million worldwide against a budget of $100 million, mainly received negative reviews, and won several “worst” awards at the Razzies.
E-Ring was a drama television series from 2005-2006 and took place inside the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The show failed to succeed and lasted only one season, mainly because it was up against tough competition like Lost, Criminal Minds, and American Idol. It’s not easy competing against Ryan Seacrest.
Bratt starred in the A&E television series The Cleaner, which ran from 2008-2009. The series revolved around Bratt’s character, Williams Banks, a recovering drug addict who vows to change his ways after his daughter is born. The show lasted two seasons before A&E opted not to renew the series.
Law & Order
One of Bratt’s most well-known roles was as Rey Curtis on seasons 6-9 of Law & Order and a guest spot in season 20. The iconic show premiered in 1990 on NBC and ran consecutively until 2010, following its initial cancellation. In 2021, NBC announced they would revive the show for its 21st season, and the 22nd will premiere in Fall 2022.
Benjamin Bratt played Jake Reilly in the popular medical drama series, Private Practice, a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy. Bratt didn’t join the cast until season four and stayed on until the show went off the air after season six. The show’s decline in ratings led to its eventual cancellation.
Bratt appeared in ten episodes of 24: Live Another Day, the limited event television series that was supposed to take place four years after the finale of the original 24. Bratt played Steve Navarro, a CIA station chief tracking the moves of Kiefer Sutherland’s untouchable character.
The animated film Coco premiered in 2017 and centers around the title character, Miguel, with an ambition to become a musician, despite his parent’s disapproval. Benjamin Bratt voiced Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel’s idol and famous musician, and the hit movie grossed over $800 million worldwide.
Bratt played a talent manager with cocaine addiction in the FOX musical drama series Star. The actor appeared as his troubled character in the first two seasons, but the show didn’t make it past the following year.
Whatever happened with his relationship with Julia Roberts?
Benjamin Bratt and Julia Roberts dated from 1998-2001 but were never married. The couple reportedly split because Bratt was jealous of Roberts’ relationship with actor George Clooney.
Is he married now?
Benjamin Bratt married Talisa Soto on April 13, 2002, in San Francisco, but the couple had met at a casting audition ten years prior. Soto is an actress and former Bond girl, and they began their relationship in 2001 while filming Piňero.
Does he have kids?
Bratt has two children with Soto, a daughter, and a son. His daughter, Sophia Rosalinda Bratt, was born on December 6, 2002, and his son, Mateo Bravery Bratt, was born on October 3, 2005.
Native American Roots and Philanthropy
As a young child, Bratt’s mother was an activist for Native American rights and took him and his siblings to the Native American occupation of Alcatraz in 1969.
Benjamin Bratt is active in the American Indian Movement and narrated the PBS mini-series, We Shall Remain, about Native Americans.
The actor has supported several causes like the American Indian College Fund, The Tribal Athletics Program, and the United Indian Nations.
In addition, he received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence in 2002 from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.