Rosie Perez is often recognized by her legendary Puerto Rican accent, but now she’ll be known as a co-host on The View. Read on for the facts on her career, her love life, and more.
1. Her Childhood Was Extremely Troubled
Lydia Perez was pregnant with daughter Rosie and was having an affair with a man named Ismael Serrano, Rosie’s father. Lydia left her husband and brought her five children to Serrano’s place. One night they were fighting and she fired a gun at him. That was the last time she saw him. Rosie was given to her aunt until she was 3 years old and her mother returned, only to leave her at St. Joseph’s Catholic Home for Children shortly after. There, Rosie was “spanked” with paddles by the nuns quite often and when she would visit her mother, she was both beaten and verbally abused. Rosie has reported that her mother even forced her to shoplift. In her teens, Rosie moved back with her aunt. The NY Daily News writes:
Perez left the group home at 14, and lived with her aunt while she attended Grover Cleveland High School in Queens. But after a schoolyard beating — a girl took a razor to her face to cut out her dimple — she moved to Los Angeles to help a cousin with her children.
2. Eric Haze Is Her Husband
— The Insider (@TheInsider) September 16, 2013
Perez is married to Eric Haze, a graffiti artist and designer from New York City who has his own Haze Brand store in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. He’s designed logos for Public Enemy, EPMD, Delicious Vinyl and MTV, plus some album covers for the Beastie Boys and Tommy Boy Records. Haze also has his own limited edition versions of G-Shock, Nike, and New Balance shoes. Perez and Haze married in 2013.
3. Perez Was Married to Seth Zvi Rosenfeld for 10 Years
— Stephen Adly Guirgis (@CookieRiverside) April 17, 2014
From 1991 until 2001, Perez was married to Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, an American playwright, screenwriter and director. Like her second husband, Rosenfeld’s early interests included graffiti.
4. White Men Can’t Jump Is the Film Perez Is Most Remembered For
Perez played the role of Gloria in White Men Can’t Jump, opposite Woody Harrelson. Check out this hilarious scene where Gloria tries to instill some of her wisdom in her boyfriend. Perez enjoyed making the film, though she was nervous about the nudity.
When Perez worked with Spike Lee, things did not go as smoothly. The NY Daily News reported:
Perez fought Lee over the naked scenes, and later charged him with exploiting her. She actually had her brother-in-law, a drug dealer who came to the meeting with a machete in hand, negotiate that there would be “no ass-crack, nothing close to the vagina.”
5. Jennifer Lopez Was Discovered by Perez?
Perez started her career as a dancer on Soul Train in the late 80’s. She later choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys. She then became the choreographer for the Fly Girls who were featured on the TV show In Living Color.
Jennifer Lopez and Perez met at the open casting call for the Fly Girl dancers and Perez has said that she was the one who persuaded the host and creator Keenan Ivory Wayans to pick JLo to be a part of the group. However, Wayans always claims that he knew JLo was a star from the moment he saw her. Lopez and Perez reportedly butted heads and Perez claims that Lopez became somewhat of a diva when they worked together. Us Weekly writes:
Perez claims Lopez shouted, “You pick on me, me and only me, every fucking day! Every fucking day! I work my ass off, deliver and you keep pushing me aside, treating me like s**t! I know I’m good! I’m better than any of these girls, and you know it.” And though the singer left the show after two seasons to pursue her acting career, Perez claims she continued to make “disparaging comments” about her in Hollywood.