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Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967) is an actor who won an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the jaded but morally upright police officer Javier Rodriguez in the film Traffic (2000).

Success in an elective drama course encouraged him to drop out of college and study with noted acting teachers Stella Adler and Arthur Mendoza, in Los Angeles, as well as at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.

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The role won him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male and established him as a character actor.

This led to stronger roles in independent and major studio films, including playing Gaspare in Abel Ferrara's The Funeral (1996) and winning a second consecutive Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his work as Benny Dalmau in Basquiat (1996), directed by his friend, artist Julian Schnabel.

Del Toro was born on February 19, 1967, in San Germán, Puerto Rico, to Gustavo Adolfo del Toro Bermúdez and Fausta Genoveva Sánchez Rivera (daughter of Benicio Sánchez Castaño and Lirio Belén Rivera), Del Toro is related to Puerto Rican basketball player Carlos Arroyo, Spanish latin pop and eurodance singer Rebeca Pous Del Toro, whose maternal grandfather was Puerto Rican, and Puerto Rican singer Eliseo del Toro.

Del Toro's great-grandfather was Rafael Rivera Esbrí, one of the heroes of the El Polvorin fire in Ponce, and whom would also later become mayor of that city (1915-1917).

He appeared in Madonna's 1987 music video "La Isla Bonita" as a background character sitting on a car.

Work in films followed, beginning with his debut in Big Top Pee-wee (1988) and as Dario in the James Bond movie Licence to Kill (1989), in which the 21-year-old del Toro held the distinction of being the youngest actor ever to play a Bond henchman.

In his acceptance speech, del Toro thanked the people of both Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora and dedicated his award to them.

In addition to the Oscar, he also won the Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. This was soon followed by a small role as the diamond thief Franky Four Fingers in Guy Ritchie's hip caper comedy Snatch and a role as a mentally challenged Native American man in The Pledge, directed by his old friend Sean Penn.

In 2003, del Toro appeared in two films: The Hunted, co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and the drama 21 Grams, co-starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.

He went on to garner another Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work in the latter.

A few months later, he stood out among a first-rate ensemble cast in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, a complex dissection of the North American drug wars.

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