Raúl Esparza, known for his versatility, is an American stage and television actor, singer, and speaker. He is best known for his role as Assistant District Attorney in New York, Rafael Barba in Law & Order: Special Unit for Victims.
He was born on 24 October 1970 as Raúl Eduardo Esparza in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, and grew up in Miami, Florida. He attended the Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, which he graduated in 1988. His ethnicity is Cuban-American. He developed his interest in acting at a young age and pursued it later as a career. He wanted to become a lawyer, but his course was changed when he started acting in high school.
The encouragement of his parents pushed him further on the way of his career. He says his parents understood that life is short and you should do what you love.
In the same year that he graduated from high school, Raul won the Silver Knight Award for drama. When he came to the university, he took part in many theater productions. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Raúl Esparza’s career began on stage in his home town of Miami, Florida. He made his professional debut in 1989 at the premiere of Luis Santeiro’s Mixed Blessings at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. In 1993, he portrayed Che on the national tour of Evita, opposite Natalie Toro. From 1996-97 he worked at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and also at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles.
Raúl then embarked on a Broadway star career in musicals and plays and has received several awards for his outstanding performances. When he came to New York, he caught the attention of the audience with his performance as Riff Raff in the revival of The Rocky Horror Show on Broadway in 2000.
His acting achievements include Cabaret (2001), as Philip Salon in Taboo (2003), as Robert in Company (2006), Leap of Faith, Acardia, as an aggressive, jumpy film producer in Speed-the-Plow (2007) and as a lazy, scornful man in The Homecoming (2008).
He is highly regarded for his versatility and has appeared as such in musicals, plays, and films. He played the role of Caractacus Potts in the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2005) and appeared in two Stephen Sondheim musicals at the Sondheim celebration of the Kennedy Center in 2002, Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along.
Off-Broadway he appeared in The Normal Heart, Comedians and tick, tick… BOOM! (2001) by Jonathan Larson. He played Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in Central Park and ENCORES Anyone can whistle.
In films he has to boast – Sidney Lumet’s Find Me Guilty and Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take. His television work includes roles in A Gifted Man, Pushing Daisies, Medium, 666 Park Avenue. He plays the lead role of A.D.A. Barba in Law & Order: SVU and as Dr. Frederick Chilton in Hannibal. He left his role as Barba in February 2018 after six seasons on the grounds that he missed the theater and wanted to return.
In addition to his numerous roles, he also narrated the audiobook Under the Dome by Stephen King.
Raúl Esparza has received numerous awards and nominations in various categories for his numerous roles and versatile performances. Since 2004 he has received nominations for the Tony Award in every male acting category: best actor in a musical (Taboo), best actor in a musical (Ensemble 2007), best actor in a play (The Homecoming 2008) and best actor in a play (Speed-the-Plow 2009).
His numerous awards include the OBIE, the New York Outer Critics Award, the Barrymore, the LA Ovation Award, the HOLA José Ferrer Acting Award, the Theatre World Award, and three Drama Desk Awards.
Raúl Esparza Family, Married
He was born as an only child of Cuban expatriates. His father came from a family of engineers and it was only natural that he became an engineer. His mother has only a handful when it comes to work, as she always seems to do – to work. When she wasn’t a banker in the bank hall, she works as an interior designer or in a travel agency.
His family was one that moved around a lot, and not only that but his parents were also fighting. America García Pell, his maternal grandmother, moved in with them when he was 5 years old, providing unconditional love that he could not get from his parents, and practically raising him.
In 1993 he married his high school sweetheart Michele Marie Perez but was divorced in 2008. Why? The divorce came two years after he revealed his sexual orientation as bisexual and his same-sex relationship in the New York Times profile in 2006. This could be a possible reason or a contributing factor to the separation.
Is Raúl Esparza Gay? Who is his Boyfriend?
As mentioned earlier, the Hannibal actor revealed that he has both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Therefore, he can be classified as bisexual.
When he was in his second year of college, he fell in love with a male lecturer, a composer who was only a few years older than him. After graduating, the man helped him to audition in Chicago for the Remains Theatre Company, which eventually gave him a job.
Raul said the lecturer inspired him to become a great star and also believed he would become one, adding that he made him feel like a great person no matter what he did. After his trainer committed suicide in 1998, the actor told the company that he had a reason to be fully informed about everything he was hiding from, including his sexual orientation. He added that it’s not about where he was or what he was doing, but rather who he was.
Although he married his wife because he loved her, he considered it a naive decision. He was known to have had affairs after separating from his wife and going out with some men. He has stated that he is bisexual and there are rumors that he is dating basketball player Nick Mayo.
The actor with excellent performances is very successful and must have accumulated a corresponding fortune. How much he is worth, however, cannot be said with certainty.
The actor of Law & Order is 5′ 8″ (1.73 m) tall.