Rosario Dawson


09 May 1979


New York City, New York, USA


This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing television (the series Gemini Division (2008), which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's powerhouse talent stands out the most in edgy, urban filming that dates back to 1995 when she was only sixteen.

A rags-to-riches article entitled "Rosario Dawson: From Tenement to Tinseltown" probably says it all. Rosario was born in New York City on May 9, 1979. Her mother, Isabel Celeste, of Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban descent, is a singer, and her stepfather, who raised her, Greg Dawson, of Irish descent, is a construction laborer. Her parents, who married when both were teenagers, eventually divorced. Rosario and her younger brother, Clay Dawson, had it hard while growing up and was cared for by family members, most of whom were poverty-stricken and some of whom were HIV-positive.

Her career actually started as a child when she made a minor showing on the children's show, Sesame Street (1969). As the story goes, she was "discovered" as an adolescent on her front porch step by two photographers. One of them, Harmony Korine, was an aspiring screenwriter who thought the inexperienced sixteen-year-old was ideal for the controversial cult film Kids (1995), in which she would portray a sexually active adolescent. It took time for Rosario's film career to kick in after that, but by the late 1990s, she had nabbed several independent films. Since then, she has moved into main-stream hits (and misses) and has surprised viewers with her earthy, provocative, uninhibited approach to her roles.

Reflecting New York's tougher, tawdrier side as assorted streetwalkers, homeless mothers, drug addicts, etc., her film highlights have included Light It Up (1999), Edward Burns' Sidewalks of New York (2001), Spike Lee's 25th Hour (2002) and Shattered Glass (2003). For Oliver Stone, she portrayed the duped bride of Colin Farrell's famed B.C. Macedonian warrior, Alexander (2004) (as in "...the Great"), which featured a notoriously violent-tinged nude/sex scene.

Expanding her horizons beyond film, she has always expressed interest in singing. She hooked up with Prince for the re-release of his 1980s hit "1999" and appeared in The Chemical Brothers' video for the song "Out of Control" from the album "Surrender". She is also featured on the Outkast track, "She Lives in My Lap". On stage, she co-starred as Julia in a revival of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" and appeared in "The Vagina Monologues".

She lucked into and got to show off her singing chops in the film adaptation of the hit New York musical Rent (2005), when Daphne Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi, became pregnant and was unable to reprise her exotic dancer role. Rosario also appeared as a prostitute in the adaptation of the graphic novel Sin City (2005). Of late, she has turned to producing. One of those, Descent (2007), had her playing a college coed who is brutally attacked and raped by a fellow student. Her more popular ventures have thus far included the role of Valerie Brown in the live-action version of the comic strip Josie and the Pussycats (2001), the Will Smith starrer Men in Black II (2002), Eagle Eye (2008) with Shia LaBeouf and Seven Pounds (2008), again with Smith, in which she offered one of her more tender-hearted performances as a woman with a potentially fatal heart condition.

Off-camera, the still-single Dawson is highly active in political, social and environmental causes and has been involved with such organizations/charities/campaigns as the Lower East Side Girls Club, Global Cool, the O.N.E. Campaign, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Control Arms, International Rescue Committee, Voto Latino (which she founded), Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Save the Children. In October 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence.

Actor ( 132 credits )

The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Batgirl / Barbara Gordon (voice)
The Hustle, the Flow, the Verdict (2017) Prison Officer (rumored)
Krystal (2017) Krystal
Ratchet & Clank (2016) Elaris (voice)
Luke Cage (2016)  Claire Temple (1 episode, 2016)
Puerto Ricans in Paris (2015) Vanessa
Daredevil (2015)  Claire Temple (3 episodes, 2015)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (2015)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2015)
Jessica Jones (2015)  Claire Temple (1 episode, 2015)
The Captive (2014) Nicole
Top Five (2014)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) Gail
The Ever After (2014)
Parts Per Billion (2014) Mia
Cesar Chavez (2014) Dolores Huerta
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Gimme Shelter (2013) June Bailey
They Die by Dawn (2013)
Raze (2013) Rachel
Trance (2013) Elizabeth
The Queen Latifah Show (2013)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
The Frame (2013)  Ruby (archive footage) (1 episode, 2013)
Fire with Fire (2012) Talia Durham
Hotel Noir (2012) Sevilla
Huff Post's BV 365 (2012)  Herself (1 episode, 2012)
House of Style (2012)  Herself (1 episode, 2012)
10 Years (2011) Mary
Zookeeper (2011) Kate
Girl Walks Into a Bar (2011) June
Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan (2011)  Herself (1 episode, 2011)
Piers Morgan Tonight (2011)  Herself (1 episode, 2012)
Miss Representation (2011) Herself
Unstoppable (2010) Connie
Stu Plus Who? (2010) Herself
The Invocation (2010) Herself
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) Persephone
Conan (2010)  Herself (2 episodes, 2010-2014)
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell (2010)  Herself (1 episode, 2013)
Awake (2010) Robin
The People Speak (2009) Herself
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009) Velvet Von Black (voice)
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009)  Herself (2 episodes, 2010)
Lopez Tonight (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2011)
ES.TV HD (2009)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
Manifest Hope: DC (2009) Herself
Killshot (2008) Donna
Seven Pounds (2008) Emily Posa
Eagle Eye (2008) Zoe Perez
Explicit Ills (2008) Babo's Mom
The City (2008)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
Gemini Division (2008)  Anna Diaz (30 episodes, 2008)
La Pasion de la Decision (2008)  Carmen
Death Proof (2007) Abernathy
Descent (2007) Maya
Grindhouse (2007) Abernathy (segment "Death Proof")
A Sentimental Conversation (2007) Eve
Chelsea Lately (2007)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
Aperture (2007)  Herself - Interviewer (unknown episodes)
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Herself (6 episodes, 2007-2013)
Reel Junkie (2007)  Herself (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
Buzz: AT&T Original Documentaries (2007)  Herself (1 episode, 2007)
Clerks II (2006) Becky
Sp!t (2006) Narrator (voice)
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006) Laurie
Rachael Ray (2006)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
Rent (2005) Mimi Marquez
Little Black Dress (2005) Haley
God Sleeps in Rwanda (2005) Narrator (voice)
Sin City (2005) Gail
This Revolution (2005) Tina Santiago
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Herself / ... (4 episodes, 2011-2014)
Robot Chicken (2005)  Clara Palmer / ... (1 episode, 2007)
The Young Turks (2005)  Herself (2008) (unknown episodes)
Alexander (2004) Roxane
Tavis Smiley (2004)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
Le grand journal de Canal+ (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Omg! Insider (2004)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Fashion News Live (2004)  Herself (2 episodes, 2011-2014)
The Tony Danza Show (2004)  Herself (2 episodes, 2004-2005)
This Girl's Life (2003) Martine
The Rundown (2003) Mariana
Until the Violence Stops (2003) Herself
Shattered Glass (2003) Andy Fox
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Herself / ... (7 episodes, 2006-2014)
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003)  Herself (2 episodes, 2005-2008)
Punk'd (2003)  Herself (1 episode, 2003)
Celebrity Poker Showdown (2003)  Herself (2 episodes, 2004)
Shootout (2003)  Herself (1 episode, 2007)
25th Hour (2002) Naturelle Riviera
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) Dina Lake
Men in Black II (2002) Laura Vasquez
The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002) Alisa
Ash Wednesday (2002) Grace Quinonez
Love in the Time of Money (2002) Anna
Chelsea Walls (2001) Audrey
Trigger Happy (2001) Dee
Sidewalks of New York (2001) Maria
Josie and the Pussycats (2001) Valerie Brown
Anatomy of a Scene (2001)  Herself (1 episode, 2001)
King of the Jungle (2000) Veronica
Down to You (2000) Lana
Light It Up (1999) Stephanie Williams
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999)  Herself (1 episode, 2002)
Side Streets (1998) Marisol Hidalgo
He Got Game (1998) Lala Bonilla
Total Request Live (1998)  Herself (3 episodes, 2001-2006)
Fox and Friends (1998)  Herself (1 episode, 2012)
The View (1997)  Herself (2 episodes, 2005-2014)
Corazón de... (1997)  Herself (2 episodes, 2006)
Girls Night Out (1997)
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Herself (1 episode, 2001)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1996)  Herself (2 episodes, 2005-2010)
Caiga quien caiga (1996)  Herself (2 episodes, 2007)
E! True Hollywood Story (1996)  Herself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2004)
Kids (1995) Ruby
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Herself (1 episode, 2007)
Quelli che... il calcio (1993)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Herself (8 episodes, 2001-2009)
HBO First Look (1992)  Herself (2 episodes, 2004-2008)
Live with Kelly and Michael (1988)  Herself / ... (8 episodes, 2004-2013)
Larry King Live (1985)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Herself (3 episodes, 2008-2014)
Saturday Night Live (1975)  Herself - Host / ... (1 episode, 2009)
Film '72 (1971)  Herself (1 episode, 2006)
Today (1952)  Herself (2 episodes, 2005)
Unforgettable (0)
Clerks III (0) Becky
Famous (0) Carolyn Shaw
Henchmen (0) (voice)

Producer ( 3 credits )

Parts Per Billion (2014) executive producer
Gemini Division (2008) executive producer (unknown episodes)
Descent (2007) producer