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Rosario Daw­son  (born May 9, 1979) is an Amer­i­can actress, singer, and writer. She has appeared in films such as Kids, Men in Black II, 25th Hour, Sin City, Clerks II, Rent, Death Proof, The Run­down, Eagle Eye, Alexan­der, Sev­en Pounds, Per­cy Jack­son and the Olympians: The Light­ning Thief, Unstop­pable, and Trance.

Ear­ly life

Daw­son was born in New York City, New York. Her moth­er, Isabel Celeste, is a writer and singer who is of Puer­to Rican and Afro-Cuban descent. Isabel was six­teen years old when Rosario was born; she nev­er mar­ried Rosar­i­o’s bio­log­i­cal father, Patrick C. Har­ris.  When Rosario was one year old, her moth­er mar­ried Greg Daw­son, a con­struc­tion work­er, who “loved and raised Rosario as his own daugh­ter”  (Daw­son has stat­ed that “He’s always been my dad”).  Daw­son has a half-broth­er, Clay, who is four years younger. Isabel and Greg divorced in 2006.  At the age of 21, Isabel moved the fam­i­ly into an aban­doned build­ing squat on the Low­er East Side of Man­hat­tan, where she and her hus­band ren­o­vat­ed an apart­ment and installed the plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal wiring for the build­ing, cre­at­ing afford­able hous­ing where Rosario and Clay would grow up. Daw­son has cit­ed this part of her his­to­ry when explain­ing how she learned that “If you want­ed some­thing bet­ter, you had to do it all yourself.”


As a child, Daw­son made a brief appear­ance on Sesame Street. At the age of 15, she was sub­se­quent­ly dis­cov­ered on her front porch step by pho­tog­ra­ph­er Lar­ry Clark and Har­mo­ny Korine, where Korine laud­ed her as being per­fect for a part he had writ­ten in his screen­play that would become the con­tro­ver­sial 1995 film Kids. She went on to star in var­ied roles, rang­ing from inde­pen­dent films to big bud­get block­busters includ­ing Rent, He Got Game, and Men in Black II.  Daw­son research­ing her role in Eagle Eye, 2007.

In 1999, Daw­son teamed up with Prince for the re-release of his 1980s hit “1999.”  The new remixed ver­sion fea­tured the actress in an intro­duc­to­ry voice over, offer­ing com­men­tary on the state of the world in the year before the new mil­len­ni­um.  The same year, she appeared in The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers’ video for the song “Out of Con­trol” from the album Sur­ren­der.  She is also fea­tured on the track “She Lives In My Lap” from the sec­ond disc of the Out­Kast album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in which she speaks the intro and a brief inter­lude towards the end. In 2001, she appeared in the movie, Josie and the Pussycats.

Daw­son in 2009. Daw­son starred as Naturelle Rivera, the love inter­est of a con­vict­ed drug deal­er played by Edward Nor­ton, in the 2002 Spike Lee film dra­ma, 25th Hour. In the 2004 Oliv­er Stone film Alexan­der, she played the bride of Alexan­der the Great. In the autumn of 2005, Daw­son appeared on stage as Julia in the Pub­lic The­ater’s “Shake­speare in the Park” revival of Two Gen­tle­men of Verona.  It was her first appear­ance on stage. “That park is so beau­ti­ful,” she said of New York’s Cen­tral Park.

In the film adap­ta­tion of the pop­u­lar musi­cal Rent in 2005, she played the exot­ic dancer Mimi Mar­quez, replac­ing Daphne Rubin-Vega, who was preg­nant and unable to play the part. She also appeared in the adap­ta­tion of the graph­ic nov­el Sin City, co-direct­ed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, por­tray­ing Gail, a pros­ti­tute-dom­i­na­trix. Also in that year, she appeared in a graph­i­cal­ly vio­lent scene in the Rob Zom­bie film The Dev­il’s Rejects. Though the scene was cut from the final film, it is avail­able in the delet­ed scenes on the DVD release.  Daw­son at the 2011 Cannes Film Fes­ti­val.  She starred as Becky in 2006’s Clerks II, and men­tioned in Back to the Well, the mak­ing-of doc­u­men­tary, that the don­key show sequence was what made her decide to take the role. In May of the same year, Daw­son, an avid com­ic book fan, co-cre­at­ed the com­ic book minis­eries Occult Crimes Task­force.  She was at the 2007 Com­ic-Con to pro­mote the com­ic. She co-starred with for­mer Rent alum Tra­cie Thoms in the Quentin Taran­ti­no throw­back movie Death Proof in 2007, part of the Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez dou­ble fea­ture Grind House. She teamed up with friend Talia Luga­cy, whom she met at the Lee Stras­berg Acad­e­my, to pro­duce and star in Descent.  On July 7, 2007, Daw­son pre­sent­ed at the Amer­i­can leg of Live Earth.  In 2008, Daw­son starred with Will Smith in Sev­en Pounds and in the Steven Spiel­berg pro­duced Eagle Eye. Begin­ning in August, she starred in Gem­i­ni Divi­sion, an online TV series. In the com­put­er ani­mat­ed series After­world she voiced the char­ac­ter Offi­cer Delon­dre Baines. On Jan­u­ary 17, 2009, Daw­son host­ed Sat­ur­day Night Live. Lat­er in the year, she voiced Artemis of Bana-Migh­dall in the ani­mat­ed film Won­der Woman.  In 2009, Daw­son per­formed in The Peo­ple Speak, a doc­u­men­tary fea­ture film that uses dra­mat­ic and musi­cal per­for­mances of the let­ters, diaries, and speech­es of every­day Amer­i­cans, based on his­to­ri­an Howard Zin­n’s A Peo­ple’s His­to­ry of the Unit­ed States.

Per­son­al life

Daw­son is involved with the Low­er East Side Girls Club and sup­ports oth­er char­i­ties such as envi­ron­men­tal group Glob­al Cool, the ONE Cam­paign, Oxfam, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, Par­ents, Fam­i­lies and Friends of Les­bians and Gays, Stay (a poster and pub­lic ser­vice ad cam­paign for PFLAG where she is fea­tured with her uncle Frank Jump),  Inter­na­tion­al Res­cue Com­mit­tee, and Voto Lati­no, and she par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Vagi­na Mono­logues. She is on the V‑Day Board. She attend­ed both the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion (in 2008) as well as the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion (also in 2008). In Octo­ber 2008, Daw­son became a spokes­woman for’s phil­an­thropy pro­gram, More Than Foot­prints,  involv­ing Con­ser­va­tion Inter­na­tion­al, Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders, Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety, The Nature Con­ser­van­cy, and Save The Chil­dren. Also in Octo­ber 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Cam­paign,  a move­ment aimed at pre­vent­ing domes­tic vio­lence. She record­ed a voice mes­sage for the Web site stress­ing the impor­tance of respect in help­ing stop domes­tic vio­lence. In 2012 Daw­son part­nered with SodaS­tream Inter­na­tion­al in launch­ing the first annu­al Unbot­tle the World Day, a cam­paign con­ceived in an effort to raise aware­ness to the impact of cans and plas­tic bot­tles on the environment

Offi­cial website