Goran Višnjić

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Goran Visnjic
Birth name Goran Višnjić
Born September 9, 1972 (age 34)
Flag of Croatia Šibenik, Croatia, then Yugoslavia
Spouse(s) Ivana Višnjić (8 May 1999 - present)
Notable roles Luka Kovač in ER

Goran Višnjić (pronounced /'ʋiʃ.ɲiʨ/ ('VISH-nyich')) (born September 9, 1972) is a Croatian actor who has appeared in many American film and television productions. His most prominent role has been that of Dr. Luka Kovač in the hit television series ER.

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[edit] Early Roles

Born in the city of Šibenik (along the coast of Croatia), Višnjić appeared in plays throughout his childhood. He made his screen debut in the controversial Yugoslavian film Braća po materi (1988), playing a young Croatian extremist.

He was trained at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He was the youngest actor to be chosen for the coveted title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the internationally acclaimed Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival in Croatia. He portrayed the doomed prince for six years from 1993 to 2000, winning several coveted Orlando Awards (the equivalent of the Tony Award). During an episode of ER, Luka demonstrated his expertise in the part of Hamlet, by reciting the "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Croatian. In the same episode, he demonstrated his skill in one of his hobbies, by Luka fencing with Carter.

Prior to ER, Višnjić had small speaking roles in films like The Peacemaker, Committed and Practical Magic. In 1998 he also appeared in Madonna's music video "The Power of Goodbye", and had a cameo in the movie Rounders. But it was Višnjić's break-out role as Risto, the Bosnian driver in Welcome to Sarajevo that lead then-producer Jack Orman to offer him the role of the then unnamed doctor who would replace the departing George Clooney on ER.

[edit] ER and Filmography

Višnjić joined ER in the sixth season (late 1999) and assumed the lead at the beginning of Season 12. As of 2006 he remains in the cast, and is currently contracted through Season 13. In March 2007, it was announced that Višnjić will quit ER at the end of the season. [1]

Since joining ER, Višnjić has co-starred in the movie The Deep End, voice-acted in Ice Age, and starred in Posljednja volja and Doctor Sleep.

More recently, he starred in the film Spartacus and the Croatian movie and television series Duga mračna noć. He appeared with Jennifer Garner in the movie Elektra. He also announced that he is going to produce and star in a movie about Croatian war general Ante Gotovina, whom most of Croatia sees as a war hero and is currently awaiting trial at The Hague on war crimes charges. This film would be directed by Antun Vrdoljak, Višnjić's father-in-law. He is also preparing to work on a remake of Yugoslavian thriller "H-8" to be titled "Tocka bez Povratka", alongside Rade Šerbedžija. Production is slated to begin in early 2007.

[edit] Personal life

The younger of two sons, Višnjić's father was a bus driver and mother worked in a food market. As Yugoslavia began to dissolve, Višnjić was serving a year-long tour of duty with the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). He left the JNA and returned to Šibenik, where he joined the nascent Croatian Army as a paratrooper in defending his hometown against JNA-supported "Krajina" Serbs during the Croatian War of Independence.

He has been active in animal rights, and even starred alongside his dog Bugsy in an anti-fur campaign for PETA.

Višnjić is married to Ivana Vrdoljak, and they reside in Los Angeles.

[edit] Awards

He was named People magazine's Sexiest Import in 1999 and "One of TV's Sexiest Men" in the June 5June 11, 2005 TV Guide. He was ranked #18 in Croatian-based monthly film magazine Hollywood in Best Croatian Male Movie Stars of All Time list in November 2005. He was also named as the Best Croatian actor in 2004 according to the votes of the visitors of internet magazines, for his role in the movie Duga mračna noć, according to the votes of Croatian newspaper Večernji list.

[edit] External links