Initially wanting to be a lawyer, Benicio Del Toro made extreme switch to acting and has successfully established himself as one of prominence actors Hollywood has ever had. His film debut was in the unsuccessful "Big Top Pee-wee" (1988). He next landed minor parts in "Licence to Kill" (1989) and "The Indian Runner" (1991). Several years afterwards, the San Juan, Puerto Rico born actor earned a number of memorable performances in such films, as "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery" (1992) and "China Moon" (1991). He received a Best Supporting Male Independent Spirit Award for two years in a row; the first was for his breakthrough role in "The Usual Suspects" (1995) while the second one was for "Basquiat" (1996).
Del Toro's forthcoming feature films, including "Excess Baggage" (1997), "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998) and "The Way of the Gun" (2000), sad to say, failed to impress both critics and audience and couldn't bring him notice. In fact, his portraying role as Javier Rodriguez in "Traffic" turned out to be his biggest role to date, winning him Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Golden Globe as well as numerous other awards and nominations. Even greater, he also took home two Screen Actors Guild Awards, beating out the already-famous actors , , and .