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The Kennedy Center

Raúl Esparza



Biography

Raúl Esparza is an American stage and television actor, singer, and voice artist, where he currently stars as Rafael Barba in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The 19th season premiered in September 2017.

Raúl will soon appear in 20th Century Fox’s animated comedy Ferdinand, portraying the voice of Moreno. The film is set to premiere on December 15, 2017. Additional film credits include in James Lapine’s Custody, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, Jonathan Ullman’s Trouble in the Heights, Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take, and Sidney Lumet’s Find Me Guilty.

In 2007, Esparza landed a recurring role on ABC’s Pushing Daisies. His other television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, Medium, Georgetown, A Gifted Man, 666 Park Avenue, and Hannibal.

Since making his Broadway debut in Cabaret in 1999, Raúl has taken the theatre world by storm. He first drew attention with his performance as Riff Raff in the revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which won him the Theatre World Award. The following year, he appeared off-Broadway in tick, tick… BOOM!, which garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. Additional theatre credits include The Cradle Will Rock, Leap of Faith, Arcadia, Twelfth Night, Speed-the-Plow, The Homecoming, Company, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Children And Art, Hair, The Normal Heart, Taboo, Chess, Comedians, Rooms, Short Talks on the Universe, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Assassins, and Evita.

Esparza is the second performer in theatre history to receive Tony nominations in all four acting categories that a performer can be eligible for. His Tony Award nominations include Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Taboo (2004), Best Actor in a Musical for Company (2007), Best Featured Actor in a Play for The Homecoming (2008), and Best Actor in a Play for Speed-the-Plow (2009).

The multifaceted Esparza rounds out his accomplishments on stage and screens with his success in the voiceover world. Among his voiceover credits include BoJack Horseman, Dora and Friends: Into the City!, and ELIÁN. He has also narrated a number of audio books including Stephen King’s Under the Dome, Elle Newmark’s The Book of Unholy Mischief, Nancy Farmer’s The House of Scorpion and The Lord of Opium, and Patrick Lee’s Runner and Signal.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware and raised in Miami, Florida, Raúl received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Raúl resides in New York City.
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