- Michael Peña
Michael Peña in 2011
Born Michael Anthony Peña
January 13, 1976
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Actor Years active 1994–present
Michael Anthony Peña (born January 13, 1976) is an American film and television actor. He is probably best known for his roles in the films Crash, World Trade Center, Observe and Report, 30 Minutes or Less and Tower Heist. He also appeared in the Nickelback music video for their song Savin' Me.
Peña, a Mexican-American, was born in Chicago, Illinois, where his father worked at a button factory and his mother was an assistant to a social worker. Both of Peña's parents were originally farmers. Peña attended Hubbard High School in Chicago. He has been associated with Scientology. Peña and his wife Brie Shaffer welcomed their first child in September 2008, a boy named Roman.
Though Peña has been a regular in independent productions since 1994, his breakthrough performances came in 2004 in two Best Picture Oscar-winning Paul Haggis penned films, Million Dollar Baby and Crash. The latter was also directed by Haggis, while the former was helmed by Clint Eastwood. Though both films are critically acclaimed, Peña received attention for his particularly emotional performance in Crash. The following year, he appeared on the Golden Globe winning series, The Shield. In 2006, he starred in Oliver Stone's film based on the September 11, 2001 attacks, World Trade Center. He also had a small role in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe-winning film Babel. This gives him the rare distinction of having appeared in three consecutive Oscar nominated films. He also starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in Shooter as novice FBI agent Nick Memphis.
In 2006, Peña performed in the HBO film Walkout playing the part of Sal Castro, a Mexican-American high school teacher who inspires a group of East L.A. high school students to fight for Chicano rights.
Year Title Role Notes 1994 Running Free Bunk 1996 My Fellow Americans Ernesto 1997 Star Maps Star Map Boy 1998 Boogie Boy Drug Dealer La Cucaracha Orderly 1999 Bellyfruit Oscar Paradise Cove Dan Running Horse 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Ignacio Credited as Michael A. Pena 2001 Semper Fi Douglas Cepeda Television film Buffalo Soldiers Garcia 2003 The United States of Leland Guillermo Love Object Ramirez 2004 The Calcium Kid Jose Mendez Crash Daniel Million Dollar Baby Omar 2005 Untitled David Diamond/David Weissman Project Scott Television film Little Athens Carlos Sueño Jimmy 2006 Walkout Sal Castro Television film Fifty Pills Eduardo Babel John World Trade Center Will Jimeno 2007 Shooter Nick Memphis Lions for Lambs Ernest 2008 The Lucky Ones T.K. Poole 2009 Observe and Report Dennis My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Detective Vargas 2010 Everything Must Go Frank Garcia 2011 The Good Doctor Jimmy Battle: Los Angeles Joe Rincon The Lincoln Lawyer Jesus Martinez 30 Minutes or Less Chongo Tower Heist Enrique Dev'reaux 2013 The Gangster Squad Navidad Ramirez Filming
Year Title Role Notes 1996 Pacific Blue Rabbit Season 2: Episode 4: "Bangers" 1997 Touched by an Angel Reynaldo Estes Season 3: Episode 26: "At Risk" 1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Luis Carrenza Season 6: Episode 12: "Something Sacred: Part 1"
Season 6: Episode 13: "Something Sacred: Part 2"
Credited as Michael Anthony Pena
The Sentinel Johnny Season 3: Episode 22: "Night Shift"
Credited as Michael A. Pena
7th Heaven Roger Season 3: Episode 9: "Let's Talk About Sex"
Credited as Michael A. Pena
1999 Moesha Alejandro Season 4: Episode 12: "Life Imitating Art" Profiler Alex Lopez Season 3: Episode 15: "Spree of Love"
Credited as Michael Anthony Peña
1999–2000 Felicity Brian Burke Season 2: Episode 1–3
Season 2: Episode 8: "Family Affairs"
Season 2: Episode 16: "Revolutions"
2001 Roswell Fly Season 3: Episode 2: "Michael, the Guys, and the Great Snapple Caper"
Season 3: Episode 3: "Significant Others"
Men, Women & Dogs Miguel Season 1: Episode 1: "Pilot"
Season 1: Episode 6: "Kibbles & Grits"
2002 American Family Season 1: Episode 7: "Crash Boom Love: Part 1"
Season 1: Episode 8: "Crash Boom Love: Part 2"
Andy Richter Controls the Universe Patrick Season 1: Episode 6: "Wedding" 2003 The Twilight Zone Noah Season 1: Episode 43: "Sunrise"
Credited as Michael A. Peña
ER Season 9: Episode 16: "A Thousand Cranes"
Season 9: Episode 21: "When Night Meets Day"
Season 10: Episode 9: "Missing"
1997–2004 NYPD Blue Ferd/Wilmer Lopez Season 4: Episode 16: "What a Dump!"
Season 11: Episode 14: "Colonel Knowledge"
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Juanito Concha Season 5: Episode 12: "Snakes" The Shield Detective Armando Renta Season 4: Episode 2–11 2008 My Name is Earl Circus Season 3: Episode 17: "No Heads and a Duffle Bag" 2010 Eastbound & Down Mr. Cisneros Season 2: Episode 2–4
Season 2: Episode 6: "Chapter 12"
Season 2: Episode 7: "Chapter 13"
2011 American Dad Maguerite Season 7: Episode 1: "Little Shop of Hot Tubs"
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.