Sep. 12th, 1963
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Ramón Franco's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2007 - Resident Evil: Extinction
1991 - Chains of Gold
1986 - Heartbreak Ridge
Guest TV Roles
Ramon Franco, born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, is among the strongest young performers in the new wave of New Yorkers to invade Hollywood. At age 22 he was already a veteran stage performer with considerable television experience. He's best known to movie audiences through his co-starring role in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge (1986). Ramon received a baptism by fire in off-Broadway theater during his teenaged years. Work with the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and in such critically-lauded productions of "Sancocho" at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York led to his first screen appearance in Boardwalk (1979) in which, at age 14, he played opposite the legendary Lee Strasberg.
During the ensuing years Ramon divided his time among stage work, television production and high school studies in the Bronx. Credits from that early portion of his career include the critically praised stage productions "Runaways" and "The Sun Always Shines for the Cool" and We're Fighting Back (1981) (TV), a TV movie about the "Guardian Angels." Despite the professional activity that absorbed him during his teens, Ramon graduated from high school in 1982 and took a break from acting to work towards a bachelors degree at Bard College. It was a very brief hiatus. Ramon was enticed away from Bard's upstate New York campus when his agent called with several firm TV offers.
Academics were temporarily shelved in favor of a recurring role as Trimmer on the daytime drama "The Guiding Light" (1952), guest appearances on "Hill Street Blues" (1981), "Miami Vice" (1984) and Stingray (1985) (TV) and roles in the features Deadly Force (1983) and Bulletproof (1988). A return to the New York stage in early 1986 led to Ramon's most important break thus far. His performance as troubled Marine Cpl. Acevedo in the WPA / Chelsea Theatre production of "Wasted" drew rave reviews and attracted the attention of Eastwood, who was casting for young actors to play a squad of Marines who took part in the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1984. Ramon's vivid portrayal of Cpl. Acevedo landed him the part of Pvt. Aponte in "Heartbreak Ridge". Though "demoted" from his "Wasted" rank of corporal, Ramon was elated. With "Heartbreak Ridge" behind him, many doors have opened for Ramon Franco. The experience of working with Eastwood, he noted, was worth years of dramatic studies. Filming "Heartbreak Ridge" in Hollywood and on locations in Puerto Rico also offered Ramon the opportunity to return to the town of Caguas, which he had left with his family during his early childhood.
Upon completion of "Heartbreak Ridge" Ramon relocated to Los Angeles and not only worked on episodes of "Ohara" (1987) and "MacGyver" (1985) but was cast as Pvt. Alberto Ruiz in the CBS television series "Tour of Duty" (1987). The Emmy Award-winning show ran three seasons and enabled Franco to work on over 65 episodes, gaining him international recognition. During his hiatus from "Tour of Duty" he worked on feature films: Kiss Me a Killer (1991) with Julie Carmen, Chains of Gold (1991) with John Travolta and a starring role as Angel in "The Prosecutor". More recently he has been seen in Extreme Justice (1993), opposite Scott Glenn, Street Knight (1993) opposite Jeff Speakman, Sworn to Vengeance (1993) (TV) opposite Robert Conrad (I), as a rookie FBI agent in Shattered Image (1994) (TV), starring Bo Derek and Jack Scalia, as well as starring as Mr. Cruz, a small-town teacher, in "High Sierra Search and Rescue" (1995) starring Robert Conrad (I) and 'Dee Wallace Stone' on NBC. Franco has recently guest-starred on "Boomtown" (2002), "Philly" (2001), "The X Files" (1993), "The Michael Richards Show" (2000), "City of Angels" (2000) and roles on "NYPD Blue" (1993) and in the made-for-TV film _Foto-Novelas II: Junkyard Saints (2002) (TV)_ on PBS. He recently completed a pilot titled "Snitch" opposite Robert Patrick (I) for the F/X Network.
Franco is the recipient of the 1990 Desi Arnaz Vanguard Award, given for being a strong role model and improving the image of Hispanics in the media arts. He is definitely determined to become the first major star to emerge from the sleepy little town of Caguas, Puerto Rico.
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