Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz


12/27/1973, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Birth Name

Wilson Cruz


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Best known for his sensitive portrayal as Enrique "Rickie" Vasquez, the troubled gay teen on My So-Called Life, Wilson Cruz has culled an impressive resume with various screen, stage and gay rights advocacy appearances. Born in Brooklyn, New York where he started his career in stage productions before…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Cruz was never an athlete, but instead pursued dancing, marching band, show choir, and theater in school.

    • Cruz admires the work of Gael Garcia Bernal and Meryl Streep. He also enjoyed Patrick Wilson in Lost Children, and Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland.

    • Cruz's younger brother, Josh, is also an actor. Coincidentally, Cruz's co-star on "My So-Called Life," Devon Gummersall, also has a brother named Josh.

    • Cruz is a first-generation American, born to Afro-Puerto Rican immigrants.

    • Cruz's uncle died from AIDS-related complications, but not before bestowing valued guidance on the actor.

    • Cruz did double duty as a drag queen, during the day on Ally McBeal, and at night on stage as Angel in Rent.

    • Cruz modeled in a major Levi Strauss Co. ad campaign featuring successful gay and lesbian people in 1998.

    • Cruz co-hosted the opening ceremonies of the 14th annual San Francisco AIDS Walk in 2000 with actress Gillian Anderson.

    • Cruz played the clarinet, flute and sax throughout school.

    • The role of Junito on "Noah's Arc" was written specifically for him by director Patrik-Ian Polk.

    • His co-star in Tick, Tick...BOOM!, Christian Campbell, is the brother of Neve Campbell, with whom he shared cast credits on Party of Five.

    • Cruz appeared in the hit broadway musical Rent in the role of Angel. He originated the role in Los Angeles before replacing the original Broadway cast member in New York.

  • Quotes

    • Wilson Cruz: (on being approached to play an HIV positive character on Noah's Arc)I didn't even hesitate... I was really excited and proud to be able to play that role... and I got to be cute... I got to be the one to kiss the boy, and kissing Christian Vincent is not a bad gig.

    • Wilson Cruz: I just don't think that we can sit back and be indifferent about HIV just because there are drugs that can sustain our life. Although people with HIV and AIDS aren't dying in the numbers they were 10 or 15 years ago, these drugs are not easy drugs to live on. They affect the way you live in daily life and for some people they don't work. So it's not over. It's still an emergency.

    • Wilson Cruz: I like to say Rickie [from "My So-Called Life"] is who I was when I was 15 years old, except for the fact that I didn't hang out in the girls bathroom and didn't wear eyeliner... He had a much more interesting fashion sense as well.

    • Wilson Cruz: (on his preference between TV and film) I prefer to work. Here's the thing. I just prefer to do interesting projects. I don't really differentiate between the two mediums. At this point television has become so good that it's like making little movies…I don't really have a preference. It's always about the stories and the character. On TV, it's really fun to take a character and watch that journey happen week after week…And I think also you're given some freedom in that…And on a film you have a fixed amount of time and you know exactly what the middle and end are going to be…I don't come to them any differently than I do the other.

    • Wilson Cruz: (on the difficulty of being a Latino actor) I think it's hard being a Latino anything, but I mean that in a good way. I think it's the challenges that makes us who we are. I think there are challenges that are inherent in being a person of color within this industry. There are very few roles that are written specifically for Latinos, unless you are in jail, a drug dealer, a gang member, or hooligan of some sort.