September 9, 1972
Goran Visnjic certainly didn't start his career like most in Hollywood's acting community. In
fact, his community consisted of a small Croatian town off the Adriatic Sea where he whiled
away his childhood with two brothers.
From early on, Goran found himself leaning towards the performing
arts, and the youngest son of a bus driver father and salesclerk mother, was reciting poetry and landing
lead roles in school plays by the time he was nine. At twenty he joined the prestigious Academy
Of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, but not before becoming a veteran of two military forces. Visnjic,
a trained paratrooper, finished his required military service in the Yugoslav Army at age
eighteen, then enlisted, along with one of his brothers, in the Croatian Army when war erupted
in the Balkans. Fortunately, all of his family members came out of the frightening turmoil
Once the war was over, he dedicated himself to his first love...acting. At twenty-one he was
cast as Laertes in a traveling production of "Hamlet", with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, beginning
a six year cross-country stint that would expose him to audiences throughout his country. It
would also go on to earn him three national Best Actor awards, including the Orlando (the Croatian equivalent
of a Tony).
In 1997, director Michael Winterbottom cast him as a translator-driver for a British news
team in the highly acclaimed drama "Welcome To Sarajevo". American audiences had their first
taste of the six foot four Croatian and they wanted more.
Voted as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful in 2000, Goran moved into the role of
Nicole Kidman's abusive boyfriend in "Practical Magic", but it was only after landing the
role in the hospital drama "ER" that his popularity grew along with his fanbase.
In 1999 Goran married sculptor Ivana, also from Croatia. On his off time he likes fencing, swimming, diving, and four-wheeling
in the hills near his L.A. home.
Photo © George Holtz [Photo of Goran and Ivana © Frank Tapper/Corbis.com]
Bio by K. Kamarauskas © 2002 - [Please let us know of any errors]
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