He has been married to Eva Visnjic since May 8, 1999. They have three children, two boys and a girl. His wife changed her name to Eva Visnjic from Ivana Vrdoljak.
Starting this Tuesday 3rd August 2010, Goran Visnjic takes to the screens in the UK on a BBC1 drama called The Deep along with Minnie Driver and James Nesbitt. This will be the first time he plays a role for the BBC.
In 2000 and 2001, Goran was nominated for SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for E.R..
It is reported that Goran will be Mr Darcy in the upcoming production of Jane Austen Handheld from Stephen Fry's production company. (Spring 2008)
Goran has a role in Helen starring Ashley Judd; filming is taking place in Vancouver. (Autumn 2007)
Stargate SG-1 actress, Amanda Tapping said of Goran's visit to their set, "I'm massively in love with him, so that was cool."
Goran visited the Vancouver set of Stargate SG-1, and said he was "thrilled" to be photographed in front of 'the Gate', the 22 foot tall portal to the galaxies.
Goran and Ivana's son is named for the Croatian poet, Augustin (Tin) Ujevic.
As of the beginning of Season 12, Goran Visnjic's Dr. Luka Kovac became the lead character on ER, and Visnjic appears first in the credits.
Dr. Luka Kovac, his character on ER, holds the rank of Chief of Emergency Medicine. This makes him both the senior attending physician and the head of the Emergency department. Luka is also the highest-ranking regular character within the hospital management.
With the departure of Laura Innes, Goran is now the longest running main cast member on the show. His character, Dr. Luka Kovac, was introduced in the opening episode of Season Six, following the departure of George Clooney the previous year. As the most senior cast member, he is identified as cast member #1 on the show's call sheets.
His character has become known for what we call Lukaisms; small semantically similar (and generally humorous) word substitutions, always corrected by another character, which he never notices.
After the producers of ER proposed two Serbian names, Visnjic slyly named his own character. When asked for a list of potential first and last names, his suggestions included four unpronounceable names, the first name of his nephew (Luka) and last name of a childhood friend (Kovac).
Co-star Kristen Johnston on working with Visnjic: "Watching him act – he is so intense. He is such a good man, in the scene [from Man With No Name] I definitely rose to a new level. He really made me get on my toes to get on the same page as him."
His real-life nickname appears on the back of a Croatian football shirt Luka wears at a softball game near the end of the episode "Where the Heart Is."
In 2006 made a cameo appearance in the Slovenian/Croatian sitcom Nasa mala klinika (Our Little Clinic) during its third season, alongside drama school friends Goran Navojec and Rene Bitorajac. His character was known only as "man on the telephone."
Was the youngest actor ever to play Hamlet in Croatia's famed Dubrovnik Summer Festival, for which he won multiple awards including the Orlando, Croatia's highest acting honor. He took over the role after the actor originally set to play it dropped out. He had auditioned for a lesser role on the urging of his fencing coach, and was initially cast as Laertes as a result of both his acting and fencing skills.
Appeared in a November, 2005 segment of the Today Show's "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" from Dubrovnik, Croatia, discussing playing Hamlet during the war, and the city's culture. His favorite Dubrovnik coffee bar is called Talir.
Won the 2005 Vladimir Nazor Prize, Croatia's highest creative award, in Drama for his performance in Long Dark Night. He donated the 20,000 kuna accompanying the award to a Croatian center providing services to adults with mental retardation.
Goran's father-in-law, Antun Vrdoljak said of Goran's success in the US, after they worked together on his film Duga Mracna Noc, "If you successfully transplant a plant to a bigger garden, the plant's attributes don't change, it continues to grow and develop even more than it would have in the smaller garden. Goran continued his professional growth there, with much better conditions."
Was one of the final candidates in the recent search for the new James Bond. He has many of Bond's skills, including the ability to handle both a high-power sports car and a speed boat, marksmanship and skydiving, but could not master a British accent in the time available before his screen test.
Was the voice of Soto in Ice Age, which also featured the voice of ER co-star John Leguizamo.
Also played a doctor in the movie Doctor Sleep (a.k.a. Hypnotic, Close Your Eyes). While filming the movie, in which he played a hypnotherapist, Goran had a chance to be hypnotized himself. He was skeptical in the beginning, and during the session kept asking the hypnotist to either turn up the air conditioning because he was too warm or turn down the air conditioning because he was too cold. At the end of the session, the hypnotist told him that there was no air conditioning.
Played Nicole Kidman's Bulgarian boyfriend in Practical Magic.
Appeared with fellow ER romantic lead George Clooney in the movie The Peacemaker. The two did not appear on screen together, and did not meet during filming. Later, Goran appeared as himself playing Dr. Luka Kovac in Clooney's HBO reality program Unscripted.
Flew with the US Navy's Blue Angels acrobatic flight team in 2001.
A photo of Goran appears in the "Breast Friends" photo collection, first shown at the Oxo Tower in London in July 2006 and now part of a worldwide traveling exhibit.
Advocates for animal rights groups, most recently the International Fund for Animal Welfare, lending his voice to their anti-whaling and seal protection campaigns.
Goran beat former ER co-star Noah Wyle and two other celebrity nine-ball players on GSN's Ballbreakers to win $20,000 for IFAW (2005).
Recently joined the campaign for a ban on whaling under the auspices of Animal Friends Croatia. He urged Croatia to join with other countries that are already members of the International Whaling Commission.
Goran said in his statement, "You may be as surprised and horrified as I was to learn that whales are being hunted and it's just as cruel as ever. Since a global ban on whaling in 1986, Japan has continued to kill whales in the name of 'scientific research'. Yet legitimate scientists agree: there is no need to kill whales to research them. I need your help right now to save whales before it's too late."
Goran, along with Noah Wyle, was part of the Honorary Committee for the 20th Anniversary Gala to benefit the Farm Sanctuary. The event was held in NYC, May 20, 2006. Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of industrialized farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about "farm animals."
Appeared in PETA's first Eastern European anti-fur billboard campaign with his dog, Bugsy.
Goran played the featured role "The Boyfriend" in Madonna's music video "The Power of Goodbye" from her Ray Of Light album. He can also be seen in the music video "Zivot" (To Life) with Croatian singer Tony Cetinski.
In 2006, Goran recorded his first pop duet with Croatian singer Guiliano, entitled "Sa Tvojih Usana" (From Your Lips) He previously added a spoken word excerpt to the song "Odnio je, Boze, dio mene" by Marina Tomesevic and was the subject of the song "Duet sa Goranom Visnjicem" (Duet with Goran Visnjic) by the band Vatrogasci.
Appeared in a Tuborg Beer commercial in Croatia (c. 1996), and is a collector of Tuborg Beer steins.
Named one of TV Guide's "Sexiest Men on Television" (2005.) In the accompanying article, co-star Linda Cardellini was quoted as saying, "The handsome doctor is such a stereotype, like the heroic fireman. But Goran really is tall, dark and handsome. He's also intelligent, empathetic, and a little bit mysterious. Maybe it's his accent. He's such a strong, dignified man; he harkens back to classic movie stars like Gregory Peck. And he's so polite!"
Named as Inside TV's "50 Sexiest Men on Television" (2005). Was quoted in the article as saying, "Hunk? I don't know anything about hunk… When I first started being asked about that, I played dumb."
Named People Magazine's "Sexiest Import" (1999) and as one of their 50 "Most Beautiful People" (2000). He was recently featured as 1999's doctor in "20 Years of Sexy TV Doctors: Sights for Sore Eyes." (2005).
Despite being a long-standing television sex symbol Goran often notes his discomfort with the attention to his looks, preferring to focus on his performance. However, Rosie O'Donnell summed up their appeal during his recent appearance on The View, "Take it from me, it crosses all boundaries." (February, 2007).
Was interviewed by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Ted Allen while off-roading in the California desert. The article "Who Is Goran Visnjic and What Does He Want?" was published in the March, 2002 issue of Esquire Magazine.
Has done high-fashion photo shoots for magazines such as GQ, Glamour and Esquire.
Vogue Magazine dubbed him the "Tom Cruise of Croatia."
Reportedly declined $1,000,000 to play the title role in Dracula 2000. Visnjic was quoted as saying the character plus his accent were a bad combination.
When interviewed, he rarely talks about the war in Croatia and what action he may have seen, which he feels most Americans won't understand. Instead, he prefers to concentrate on his country's beauty and potential as a tourist destination.
Was a star of stage, film and television in Croatia before being cast in ER.
Refuses to do screen nudity.
As a result of his voice-role as photojournalist Robert Capa, he developed an interest in photography. Three of his photographs of Mekhi Phifer were published in the May, 2005 issue of Popular Photography and Imaging.
A fan of science fiction books, films and television since childhood, his favorite television show is Stargate SG-1. However, he often comments his taste in television generally runs to documentaries such as those show on the American Discovery and History channels.
Trained as a paratrooper in the Yugoslavian People's Army at age 18. Later volunteered for the new Croatian Army.
Was previously involved with Lucjia Sherbedjia, daughter of actor Rade Sherbedjia, while a student in drama school.
He has a large scar on his stomach from gastric ulcer surgery.
Speaks Croatian and English, and knows enough Italian to be understood.
Hobbies include fencing, swimming, off-roading, horseback riding, windsurfing, kung-fu and the guitar. Plays flight simulation video games to reduce stress after working.
Drives an Aston-Martin DB-7 in British racing green.
With his wife, owns an old stone house in Jelsa on the island of Hvar, accessible only by boat.
Goran and his wife have two dogs - Bugsy, a pug and Luigi a Pekingese. They previously had a second pug named Rommel. When he came from the pound, Rommel was named Romeo, but they renamed him because of his temperament!
The Visnjics have two cats called Rika and Momi.
Goran and his wife are fond of Italian food. Their favorite restaurant is believed to be Madeo in West Los Angeles.
His father's name is Zeljko, and his mother's name is Milka.
Goran means "mountain man" and Visnjic derives from the Croatian word visnja, meaning "sour cherry".
How do you pronounce his last name? VISH-nyich. It's easy. Really.
Co-star John Leguizamo on Visnjic's name: "He's the only guy who's got a name more complicated than me… don't say it; you'll get an aneurism." (to Craig Ferguson, November, 2005)
Goran's nickname is Šime (pronounced SHIH-meh), a corruption of Simon. It was given to him by his friend, actor Sasa Bruneta while he was in drama school.
Hair: Dark brown, with a little help. Visnjic is prematurely grey, which can be seen in Welcome to Sarajevo. He makes no secret of the fact he dyes his hair.
Height: 6' 4" or in metric 1.93m
Scottish actor Paul Telfer: (about his experiences with Goran during the filming of Spartacus) Goran taught me so much about the job of a leading man and what the responsibilities are." When Telfer won his first lead role in Hercules he said, "I was able to bring all the things I learnt from Goran while filming Spartacus to the set of Hercules.
Goran: ...Zegna's jacket is perfect and Gucci's pants are perfect. So we got two suits, and I hope I am going to take one home.
Interview re wedding episode on NBC.com May 07
Goran: If a great part comes up and the guy's meant to have an Eastern European accent, great; but if it's a bad part I won't take it.
Radio Times April 2007
Goran: But people in Croatia are more relaxed, they work less, they have less money, but they enjoy life more because they are not so busy.
Radio Times April 2007
Goran: I'm always trying to be a good ambassador for my country.
Radio Times April 2007
Goran: Acting is my job. If the audience think I am a "heart-throb" God bless them. It's good... or perhaps it's not...
Radio Times April 2007
Goran: I don't understand the word 'hunk.'"
(Reported by the "Calgary Sun", January 30, 2000)
At Shane West's recent house warming party featured in Feb 07 Instyle magazine
Goran: It's mostly everyone from the show, so this feels just like being in the studio - except that we can drink here.