Manny is one of eleven siblings, born in a small town in the Dominican Republic. At the age of 10, he and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island. By the time he was done with high school, Manny knew the stage was his natural home. He moved to New York majoring in drama at Marymount Manhattan College.
Manny is becoming one of the most recognized Latino Actors in Hollywood. He has embarked into the most pivotal steps in his career. In the past few years he has been cast from leads to co-starring roles in over a dozen films; in major and independent releases. He also won an Alma Award in 2008, for his performance in the film Bella (2006)
Manny Perez first got the industry’s attention when he co-wrote, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed film Washington Heights (2002) an independent film set in his neighborhood. Manny’s performance in the film garnered the praise of many film critics; The New York Times stated, “Mr. Perez has charisma to burn.” He won the 2002 Best Actor Award at The Milan International Film Festival in Italy for his performance in that film.
His recent project La Sogo (2009) which had its world premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2009 to standing ovations, sold-out shows, and stellar reviews was produced, written and starred Perez. Variety stated, “Perez puts plenty of guts into his script and performance”. It was the first Dominican film EVER to have screened at the prestigious festival. The film was released by 7-57 Releasing and so far has made over 1 million dollars worldwide.
He continues to write and co-write other scripts for future projects. In February of 2009, he co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the film titled, Forged (2010) shot completely in Scranton, PA. MAYA Entertainment will release it.
He has worked with such film directors as Sidney Lumet, Arthur Penn, Spike Lee, Leon Ichaso, Mike Newell, Ed Zwick, Takeshi Kitano, Bob Giraldi, Darnell Martin, among others.
With all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, he has maintained loyal to his roots in the Latin community, both in the US and the Dominican Republic. He is a classic example of someone who has made the American dream happen. This kind of cavalier attitude is the reason he was honored by El Diario newspaper with the “EL Award”, as one of the most prominent Latinos in New York. He recently received the Tony Bennett Excellence in Media Award, the Perry Ellis Humanitarian Award, and given the Key to the City from his hometown in Providence, Rhode Island. He was also honored with the Humanitarian Award in his native country of Dominican Republic for all of his charitable work during the devastation of Hurricane Noel. All of his hard-working ethics and talent has brought him to such great success, which will continue to take him to greater heights as he continues his career. I was not able to meet him this time, but I’m sure there will be a next time.