Rosario Dawson

Rosario Isabel Dawson[2] (born May 9, 1979)[3] is an American actress and singer. She made her feature film debut in the 1995 independent drama Kids. Her subsequent film roles include He Got Game (1998), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Men in Black II (2002), Rent (2005), Sin City (2005), Clerks II (2006), Death Proof (2007), Unstoppable (2010), and Top Five (2014). Dawson has also provided voice-over work for Disney Warner Bros., DC Comics, and Viacom's Nickelodeon unit.

Rosario Dawson
Dawson in June 2016
Born (1979-05-09) May 9, 1979[1]
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
  • Actress
  • producer
Years active1995–present

For her role in Rent, Dawson won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture; for her role in Top Five, she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Dawson is also known for having several roles in comic book adaptations including Gail in Sin City (2005) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), providing the voices of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the DC Animated Movie Universe and Barbara Gordon / Batgirl in The Lego Batman Movie, as well as her portrayal of Claire Temple in five of the Marvel/Netflix series: Daredevil (2015–2016), Jessica Jones (2015), Luke Cage (2016–2018), Iron Fist and The Defenders (both 2017).

Early life

Dawson was born on May 9, 1979, in New York City. Her mother, Isabel Celeste, is a writer and singer of Puerto Rican and Cuban ancestry. Isabel was 16 years old when Rosario was born; she never married Rosario's biological father, Patrick C. Harris.[4][5] When Rosario was a year old, her mother married Greg Dawson, a construction worker.[4] Dawson has a half-brother, Clay, who is four years younger.

At age 21, Isabel moved the family into an abandoned building, a squat on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she and her husband renovated an apartment and installed the plumbing and electrical wiring for the building, creating affordable housing where Rosario and Clay would grow up. Dawson has cited this part of her history when explaining how she learned that, "If you wanted something better, you had to do it all yourself."[6][7]


As a child, Dawson made a brief appearance on Sesame Street. At the age of 15, she was subsequently discovered on her front-porch step by photographer Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, where Korine lauded her as being perfect for a part he had written in his screenplay that would become the controversial 1995 film Kids. She went on to star in varied roles, ranging from independent films to big budget blockbusters including Rent, He Got Game and Men in Black II.[8][9][10][11][12]

In 1998, Dawson teamed up with Prince for the re-release of his 1980s hit "1999".[13] The new remixed version featured the actress in an introductory voice over, offering commentary on the state of the world in the year before the new millennium.[14] The following year, she appeared in The Chemical Brothers' video for the song "Out of Control" from the album Surrender.[15] She is also featured on the track "She Lives In My Lap" from the second disc of the OutKast album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in which she speaks the intro and a brief interlude towards the end.

In 2001, she appeared in the movie, Josie and the Pussycats as band member Valerie Brown.

Dawson starred as Naturelle Rivera, the love interest of a convicted drug dealer played by Edward Norton, in the 2002 Spike Lee film drama, 25th Hour. In the 2004 Oliver Stone film Alexander, she played the bride of Alexander the Great. In the autumn of 2005, Dawson appeared on stage as Julia in the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" revival of Two Gentlemen of Verona.[16] It was her first appearance on stage.[17]

In the film adaptation of the popular musical Rent in 2005, she played the exotic dancer Mimi Marquez, replacing Daphne Rubin-Vega, who was pregnant and unable to play the part. She also appeared in the adaptation of the graphic novel Sin City, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, portraying Gail, a prostitute-dominatrix. Also in that year, she appeared in a graphically violent scene in the Rob Zombie film The Devil's Rejects. Though the scene was cut from the final film, it is available in the deleted scenes on the DVD release.

She starred as Becky in 2006's Clerks II, and mentioned in Back to the Well, the making-of documentary, that the donkey show sequence was what made her decide to take the role. In May of the same year, Dawson, an avid comic book fan, co-created and co-wrote the comic book miniseries Occult Crimes Taskforce.[18] She was at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con to promote the comic. She co-starred with former Rent alum Tracie Thoms in the Quentin Tarantino throwback movie Death Proof in 2007, part of the Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse. She teamed up with friend Talia Lugacy, whom she met at the Lee Strasberg Academy, to produce and star in Descent.[19] On July 7, 2007, Dawson presented at the American leg of Live Earth.

In 2008, Dawson starred with Will Smith in Seven Pounds and in Eagle Eye, produced by Steven Spielberg. Beginning in August, she starred in Gemini Division, an online science fiction series. In the computer animated series Afterworld, she voiced the character Officer Delondre Baines.[20] On January 17, 2009, Dawson hosted Saturday Night Live. Later in the year, she voiced Artemis of Bana-Mighdall in the animated film Wonder Woman.[21]

In 2009, Dawson performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[22] In 2009, Dawson also voiced the character of Velvet Von Black in Rob Zombie's animated feature, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. For the Kasabian album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, she is featured singing on the track "West Ryder Silver Bullet".

In 2010, she starred in the movies Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as Persephone, and Unstoppable, as railway yardmaster Connie. In 2013, she played Apple's mother in the independent film Gimme Shelter. The following year, she reprised her role as Gail in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. In 2015, she played Claire Temple in the Netflix web television series Daredevil, a role which she reprised in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.[23] Dawson's likeness was also used in the Jessica Jones tie-in comic as her character on both shows. Dawson has continued this role in 2017 in Iron Fist and The Defenders. In 2018, she played the female lead role in the Netflix movie, Krystal.

Personal life

Dawson is a self-professed Trekkie who mentioned both her and her brother's love of Star Trek in an interview with Conan O'Brien, and also demonstrated her knowledge of several Klingon words.[24]

Dawson adopted a 12-year-old girl in 2014.[25]

In March 2019, Dawson confirmed that she is in a relationship with U.S. senator, presidential candidate, and former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker.[26]

In October 2019 a suit was filed in Los Angeles against Dawson and her family for alleged incidents involving discrimination and assault against a transgender man who they employed as a handyman.[27]


Dawson was arrested in 2004, while protesting against president George W. Bush.[28]

Dawson endorsed Barack Obama for re-election in 2012,[29] and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 Democratic Party primaries.[30]

On April 15, 2016, Dawson was among the protesters arrested during Democracy Spring in Washington, D.C.[31]


Dawson is involved with the Lower East Side Girls Club[32] and supports other charities such as environmental group Global Cool, the ONE Campaign, Operation USA, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the International Rescue Committee, Voto Latino,[33] and Stay, a poster and public service ad campaign for PFLAG where she is featured with her uncle[34] Frank Jump.[35] She has participated in the Vagina Monologues (she refers to her vagina as "The General")[36] and serves on the board for V-Day, a global non-profit movement that raises funds for women's anti-violence groups through benefits of this play.[37]

In October 2008, Dawson became a spokeswoman for's philanthropy program, More Than Footprints, Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Save The Children. Also in October 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Campaign,[38] a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence. She recorded a voice message for the Web site stressing the importance of respect in helping stop domestic violence. In 2012, Dawson partnered with SodaStream International in launching the first annual Unbottle the World Day, a campaign conceived in an effort to raise awareness to the impact of cans and plastic bottles on the environment.[39] Dawson also sits on the Board of Directors of Scenarios USA, which works to support a generation of reflective, outspoken, and confident youth through filmmaking and uses film to educate students through a variety of programs.



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Kids Ruby
1997 Girls' Night Out Girl Short film
1998 He Got Game Lala Bonilla
Side Streets Marisol Hidalgo
1999 Light It Up Stephanie Williams
2000 Down to You Lana
King of the Jungle Veronica
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Valerie Brown
Sidewalks of New York Maria Tedesko
Trigger Happy Dee
Chelsea Walls Audrey
2002 Ash Wednesday Grace Quinonez
The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest Alisa
Men in Black II Laura Vasquez
The Adventures of Pluto Nash Dina Lake
Love in the Time of Money Anna
25th Hour Naturelle Riviera
2003 V-Day: Until the Violence Stops Herself
This Girl's Life Martine
Shattered Glass Andy Fox
The Rundown Mariana
2004 Alexander Roxana
2005 This Revolution Tina Santiago
Sin City Gail
Little Black Dress Haley Short film
Rent Mimi Marquez
2006 Clerks II Rebecca "Becky" Scott
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Laurie
2007 Death Proof (Grindhouse) Abernathy Ross
Descent Maya Also producer
2008 Explicit Ills Babo's Mom
Eagle Eye Zoe Perez
Killshot Donna
Seven Pounds Emily Posa
2009 Wonder Woman Artemis (voice)
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto Velvet Von Black (voice)
The People Speak Herself
2010 Awake Robin Short film
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Persephone
Unstoppable Connie Hooper
2011 Miss Representation Herself
Girl Walks into a Bar June
Zookeeper Kate
10 Years Mary
2012 Fire with Fire Talia Durham
Hotel Noir Sevilla, the Maid
2013 Trance Elizabeth Lamb
Gimme Shelter June Bailey
César Chávez Dolores Huerta
Parts per Billion Mia
Raze Rachel
2014 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Gail
The Ever After Herself
The Captive Nicole
Top Five Chelsea Brown
2015 Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast Nyx (voice)
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice)
Puerto Ricans in Paris Vanessa
2016 Justice League vs. Teen Titans Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice)
Ratchet & Clank Elaris (voice)
2017 Justice League Dark Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice)
The Lego Batman Movie Barbara Gordon / Batgirl (voice)
Unforgettable Julia Banks
Krystal Krystal Bryant
2018 The Death of Superman Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice)
The Need to Grow Narrator (voice) Documentary
Sorry to Bother You Voice in Elevator (voice)
Henchmen Jolene (voice)
2019 Someone Great Hannah
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Reggie Faulken
Zombieland: Double Tap Nevada
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice)
The Deported Herself Documentary


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Punk'd Herself Season 1; episode 8
2007 Robot Chicken Various (voice) Episode: "More Blood, More Chocolate"
2008 Gemini Division Anna Diaz Web series; 50 episodes; also executive producer
2009 Saturday Night Live Herself Episode: "Rosario Dawson/Fleet Foxes"
2009 SpongeBob SquarePants Episode: "Truth or Square"
2011 Five Lili Television film
2015–2016 Daredevil Claire Temple Main cast; 8 episodes (seasons 1-2)
2015 Jessica Jones Guest role (season 1)
Episode: "AKA Smile"
2016–2018 Luke Cage Main cast; 11 episodes
2017 Iron Fist Main cast (season 1); 6 episodes
2017 The Defenders Miniseries
6 episodes
2017 Waves for Water Herself
2018–2019 Jane the Virgin Jane "J.R." Ramos 17 episodes
2018 Elena of Avalor Daria (voice) 2 episodes
2019 Weird City Delt Episode: "A Family"
2019 The Last Kids on Earth (voice) [40]
2020 It's Pony Ms. Ramiro (voice)

Music video

Year Artist Song Notes
1999 The Chemical Brothers "Out of Control"
2002 Aaliyah "Miss You" Cameo
2012 The Bullitts "Supercool"
2017 Jay Z featuring Beyoncé "Family Feud" Promo video for Tidal
2018 Jesse Boykins III "Earth Girls" Cameo

Video games

Year Title Voice role(s) Notes
2006 Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Tina
2012 Syndicate Lily Drawl
2016 Ratchet & Clank Elaris
Dishonored 2 Meagan Foster / Billie Lurk
Lego Dimensions Barbara Gordon / Batgirl Credited as "Rasario Dawson"
2017 Wilson's Heart Elsa Wolcott
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Billie Lurk
2019 NBA 2K20 Isa MyCAREER Story


Year Title Author
2017 Artemis Andy Weir

Awards and nominations

See also


  1. "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1258): 30. May 10, 2013.
  2. Latina. Latina publications. 1998.
  3. "Rosario Dawson - Actress". A&E Networks. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  4. "Isabel Celeste". Sur la Films. 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  5. Hirschberg, Lynn (February 19, 2009). "The Kid Stays in the Pictures". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  6. Hensley, Dennis (October 31, 2005). "Rosario Dawson: From Tenement to Tinseltown". Marie Claire. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  7. Rosario Dawson. "Using Fame and Fortune to Help Others" Newsweek; October 13, 2008; Page 58.
  8. Adams, Jim (September 10, 2008). "New York community fosters show biz careers". Indian Country Today. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  9. Drumming, Neil (July 14, 2006). "Rosario Dawson talks about being a "hot geek"". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  10. Barlow, Helen (January 9, 2004). "Between The Rock and a hard place". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  11. Hensley, Dennis. "Rosario Dawson: Actress Profile". Archived from the original on March 23, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2007.
  12. "Rent Party". November 2005. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
  13. "1999: The New Master EP". Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  14. "Prince & The Revolution – The New Master Lyrics". Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  15. Tietjen, Alexa (April 5, 2017). "Rosario Dawson responds to Kendall Jenner's now-pulled Pepsi commercia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  16. Brantley, Ben (August 29, 2005). "Shakespeare in the Park Review; Enter 'Two Gentlemen' For a Sexy Sip of Sangría". The New York Times.
  17. "In Step With: Rosario Dawson". Parade. November 6, 2005. Archived from the original on June 27, 2006.
  19. Douglas, Edward (August 11, 2007). "Rosario Dawson & Talia Lugacy on Descent". Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  20. "Welcome to GD Files". March 18, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  21. Allstetter, Rob (June 26, 2008). "Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter". Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  22. "Bringing History to Life | Voices of a People's History in the US". Archived from the original on May 13, 2010.
  23. "IMDb: Daredevil (TV Series 2015–)". IMDb. April 10, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  24. Rosario Dawson Speaks Klingon on YouTube
  25. Marquina, Sierra (December 2, 2014). "Rosario Dawson Adopts 12-Year-Old Daughter". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  26. Morin, Rebecca (December 2, 2014). "Actress Rosario Dawson confirms relationship with Cory Booker". Politico. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  27. Fitzsimons, Tim (October 21, 2019). "Rosario Dawson and Her Family Sued Over Alleged Transphobic Assault". NBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  28. Silverman, Stephen M. (August 30, 2004). "Rosario Dawson Arrested in NY Bush Protest". People. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  29. Smialek, Jeanna (September 5, 2012). "Democrats use DNC to woo Latino vote". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  30. Kahn, Mattie (March 25, 2016). "Rosario Dawson Supports Bernie Sanders in Powerful Open Letter". Elle. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  31. Hensch, Mark (April 15, 2016). "Report: Rosario Dawson arrested at rally". The Hill. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  32. "". Archived from the original on August 22, 2007.
  33. "Rosario Dawson's Charity Work". Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  34. "Home - Scenarios USAScenarios USA". Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  35. "Pflag". Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  36. Vineyard, Jennifer (April 3, 2013). "Rosario Dawson Calls Her Vagina 'the General'". New York. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  37. Schnall, Marianne (January 30, 2008). "WMC Exclusive: From Superdome to SUPERLOVE – V-Day at 10". Archived from the original on January 4, 2010.
  38. "Rosario Dawson joins the RESPECT! Campaign". April 26, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  39. Carrion, Kelly (July 20, 2012). "Rosario Dawson helps kickoff 'Unbottle the World Day'". NBC Latino. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  40. Ramos, Dino-Ray (March 13, 2019). "'The Last Kids On Earth': Mark Hamill, Rosario Dawson, Catherine O'Hara and Others Set For Netflix Animated Series". Deadline. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
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