Joaquim de Almeida

Joaquim de Almeida

de Almeida at the 2011 Festival International du Film d'Amour de Mons
Born Joaquim António Portugal Baptista de Almeida
(1957-11-15) 15 November 1957
Lisbon, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese[1]
Citizenship American (2005-present)[1]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Maria Cecilia de Almeida
Maria Risques Pereira
Parent(s) João Baptista de Almeida
Maria Sara Portugal

Joaquim António Portugal Baptista de Almeida (born 15 November 1957) is a Portuguese actor.[1] He began his acting doing some theater. During the 1980s, he started his film career appearing on the 1982 action film The Soldier, and later achieved recognition for playing Andrea Bonanno in the 1987 Italian film Good Morning, Babylon. He achieved international fame with his portrayals of Félix Cortez in the 1994 thriller Clear and Present Danger and Bucho in the 1995 action thriller Desperado. Several years later, he became popular for playing Ramon Salazar on the Fox thriller drama series 24, between 2003 and 2004, and Hernan Reyes in 2011 street racing film Fast Five.

Being fluent in several languages, Almeida has worked in several countries in Europe and the Americas, in many film and stage productions, winning some international awards in films like Retrato de Família, Adão e Eva and O Xangô de Baker Street. His other well-known films include The Honorary Consul (1983), Only You (1994), La Cucaracha (1998), One Man's Hero (1999), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Whore (2004), The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2007), Che: Part Two (2008), The Burning Plain (2008), and The Gilded Cage (2013).

Early life and education

Almeida was born in Lisbon, on 15 November 1957, the son of João Baptista de Almeida and Maria Sara Portugal. At the age of eighteen, after attending a theater course at the Lisbon Conservatory (School of Theatre and Cinema) for two years, he left Portugal to continue his studies after the Conservatory was temporarily closed following the 1974 democratic revolution. He spent a year in Vienna, moving again, in 1976, to New York City where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, a school for the performing arts.[2][3]



After doing some theater, Almeida started his film career in 1982 appearing in The Soldier. His first significant role came in a 1983 film, The Honorary Consul, where he starred alongside Michael Caine, Richard Gere and Bob Hoskins, being his first appearance in an American film. Despite cameo appearances in TV series such as Miami Vice,[4] it was some years later that he made huge impact in his career, appearing in the Good Morning, Babylon, a film, directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, that opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. Being fluent in six languages, he continued his acting career in several countries such as Portugal, England, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and Germany, working in numerous films.[2][3]


In 1994, de Almeida played Félix Cortez, a former colonel of Cuban military intelligence in the Tom Clancy thriller, Clear and Present Danger, co-starring Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe and Anne Archer. The film debuted at number one in the box office, earning a reported $20.5 million in the United States.[5]

Clear and Present Danger was a great success and was nominated for two Academy Awards.[6] Later in 1994, Almeida starred in the romantic comedy Only You, in which he plays a suave Italian businessman named Giovanni. According The New York Times, the film director and producer Norman Jewison said: "I interviewed many actors for the role.... There was one Italian actor, fairly prominent, that I met in L.A. and again in New York and in Rome. And I wanted to meet several other Italian actors in Italy." When the production moved from Pittsburgh to Italy last fall, however, none of the country's actors seemed right for what Jewison called "the cliched Italian gigolo, the guy that women from the Midwest always meet." After the interview with de Almeida, Jewison recalled: "Howard Feuer, the casting director, said, 'Joaquim's not that tall. He's not that handsome. He's no Rossano Brazzi here.' I said, 'But listen to his voice.' There's a machoness. Especially when he lowers it, whispers, leans across the table and pours you another glass of wine. He can be extremely intimate with his voice."[7]

In 1995, de Almeida co-starred with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in the Robert Rodriguez's action thriller Desperado. This film is the sequel to Rodriguez's independent film El Mariachi and the second entry in the Mexico Trilogy. Joaquim de Almeida portrays the main villain Bucho, a wealthy but casually bloodthirsty drug kingpin, who rules a seedy Mexican border town.[8] Almeida replaced Raúl Juliá as Bucho, following Juliá's death in 1994. Desperado was screened out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[9] He won a Portuguese Golden Globe for Best Actor in his next film, the 1995 Portuguese drama Adão e Eva (Adam and Eve),[10] where he played the main female character career rival Francisco.[11]

In 1997 he appeared in the miniseries Nostromo and starred in the Luís Galvão Teles' drama Elles (Women).[12] The following year, he co-starred with Eric Roberts in the Jack Perez thriller La Cucaracha (1998). The film premiered at the Austin Film Festival where it won the Feature Film Award.[13]


In 2001, Joaquim de Almeida starred in the Brazilian comedy O Xangô de Baker Street, where he plays the legendary British detective Sherlock Holmes. The film is based in a book written in 1995 by the Brazilian author Jô Soares about a case involving Sherlock Holmes and is his loyal friend Doctor Watson, who are called by the Brazilian Emperor Pedro II, to find the thief of a priceless Stradivarius owned by his lover. Due Almeida's good representation of the character, he won another Portuguese Golden Globe for best actor, his third, and was nominated for Cinema Brazil Grand Prize award for best actor.[14] Also in 2001 Almeida had a great supporting role in the war film Behind Enemy Lines as Admiral Juan Miguel Piquet, the commander of NATO's naval forces, starring alongside Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. The film, based on the Mrkonjić Grad incident, is centered on the story of an American naval flight officer, played by Owen Wilson, who was shot down over Bosnia, who ends up uncovering a massacre during the Bosnian conflict.

In 2004, he starred with Daryl Hannah and Denise Richards in Yo Puta, a gritty docu-style prostitution tale,[15] based on a bestselling book by Spaniard Isabel Pisano, that tracks the slow descent of a girl, into the sex business, which is interspersed with interviews with real-life prostitutes.[16] That same year, he joined the cast of the American hit drama 24 as Ramon Salazar, the ruthless leader of a drug cartel who is put into—and later broken out of—prison by Jack Bauer. In 2007, Joaquim de Almeida limns a brutal foreman named Baxter, in the Antonio Cuadri's El corazón de la tierra, a heady romance with a social conscience.[17] Later that year, he turned his attention towards romantic drama La Cucina, a film about several mostly separated storylines in which couples, friends and associates meet for a night of cooking and befriending. Almeida portrays a Spanish born photo journalist named Michael.[18] Next year, he starred in the Che: Part Two, a biographical film about an Argentine doctor-turned-international revolutionary named Ernesto Guevara. Almeida played President René Barrientos, a former Bolivian politician who served as his country's Vice President in 1964 and as its President from 1964 to 1969. In the same year he also appeared in the drama film The Burning Plain as local man named Nick Martinez, starring alongside Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. He also provided his voice for the animated show The Batman as the voice of the villain Bane, and reprised his role in all of his appearances in the show except one in which Ron Perlman voices the character for one line.


On 16 July 2010, Joaquim de Almeida was confirmed to be taking on the role of antagonist Hernan Reyes in the 2011 action film Fast Five directed by Justin Lin and co-starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson.[19]

The film took $3.8 million in receipts during launch midnight showings marking the best ever opening for a Universal title and The Fast and The Furious franchise.[20] Fast Five became the highest-grossing film of 2011 for 15 days before being replaced on 30 May 2011.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Honorary Consul Leon Movie nominated for two BAFTA Film Awards.
1987 Good Morning, Babylon Andrea Bonanno Movie presented in 1987 Cannes Film Festival.
1990 Sandino Augusto César Sandino -
1994 Clear and Present Danger Col. Felix Cortez Movie nominated for two Academy Awards.
1995 O Xangô de Baker Street Sherlock Holmes Brazil.
1995 Desperado Bucho (Cesar) Movie presented in 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
1997 Women
2001 Behind Enemy Lines Admiral Piquet -
2008 The Burning Plain Nick Martinez -
2011 Fast Five Hernan Reyes -
2013 The Golden Cage José Ribeiro "People's Choice Award" at the 26th European Film Awards.
2015 Our Brand is Crisis Pedro Castillo -

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Award Film/TV Show Result
1994 Cairo International Film Festival Cairo International Film Festival Award for Best Actor Retrato de Família Won
1995 Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Adão e Eva Won
1997 Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Sostiene Pereira Nominated
1998 Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Tentação Won
2000 Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Inferno Nominated
2002 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for Best Actor O Xangô de Baker Street Nominated
Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Won
2004 Festival Cinema de Badajoz Career Award[22] Won
2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2006 Portuguese Golden Globes Golden Globe for Best Actor Um Tiro no Escuro Nominated
2008 Avanca Film Festival Avanca Film Festival Award for Best Actor Óscar. Una pasión surrealista Won
2009 Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva Prize of the City of Huelva Won


  1. 1 2 3 "Joaquim de Almeida naturalizou-se norte-americano" [Joaquim de Almeida became a naturalized north-american] (in Portuguese). Público. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Biography for Joaquim de Almeida". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Biografia – Joaquim de Almeida" [Biography – Joaquim de Almeida] (in Portuguese). 27 October 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  4. "Bought and Paid for". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 9. 1985-11-29. NBC.
  5. Fox, David (8 August 1994). "A 'Clear' Triumph at Box Office: Movies: The Harrison Ford thriller seizes the No. 1 spot with estimated ticket receipts of more than $20 million". Los Angeles Times.
  6. "Awards for Clear and Present Danger". IMDB. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  7. Lee, Linda (2 October 1994). "Charm the Ladies, Kill the Drug Lord". The New York Times.
  8. Maslin, Janet (25 August 1995). "Desperado (1995)". The New York Times.
  9. "Details: Desperado". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  10. "Golden Globes, Portugal (1995)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  11. Fountain, Rovi. "Adao E Eva". New York Times. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  12. Holden, Stephen (29 October 1999). "Women (1998)". New York Times.
  13. "Austin Film Writers' Fest A Go Under Construction". 5 October 1998.
  14. "Awards for The Xango from Baker Street". IMDB. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  15. Rooney, David (25 February 2003). "Richards, Sheen keen on scurrying 'Scary 3'".
  16. Hopewell, John (10 November 2003). "Gaga over 'Whore'".
  17. Hopewell, John (12 February 2006). "Spain's 'Heart of Earth' digs Guillory".
  18. Buchanan, Rovi. "La Cucina (2008)". The New York Times.
  19. Siegel, Tatiana (16 July 2010). "'Fast and the Furious' adds to cast". Variety.
  20. Gray, Brandon (28 April 2011). "Forecast: 'Fast Five' Fever". Box Office Mojo.
  21. Gray, Brandon (31 May 2011). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Pirates' Booty Grows, 'Hangover,' 'Panda' Sequels Open Strongly". Box Office Mojo.
  22. "Biografia – Joaquim de Almeida" [Biography – Joaquim de Almeida] (in Portuguese). 27 December 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
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