It’s hard to believe Rosa Marie “Rosie” Perez is 52. Today, we honor her badassery by giving Rosie the digital stage to bust her brilliant moves, which won the hearts of Latinxs around the world as she simultaneously paved the way for superstars like Jennifer Lopez.
Rosie was discovered on Soul Train before landing a gig as the choreographer for In Living Color‘s Fly Girls.
Her film breakthrough was in Spike Lee’s 1989’s Do the Right Thing, which she followed with cult classic, White Men Can’t Jump.
Throughout her illustrious career as an actor, Rosie rejected being typecast, turning down roles that saw her as a stereotypical Latina.
After making a name for herself as a professional choreographer, Rosie’s expert moves would garner her Emmy, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
As an activist, she’s emphatically championed HIV/AIDS, as Latinos are disproportionately affected by the virus/disease.
A longtime advocate of rights for her native Puerto Rico, Rosie today is still raising awareness of the troubles affecting Puerto Ricans on and off the island.
A fervent disciple of equality and gender-bending Latinx, Rosie puts on for womanhood as a boxing-loving, rug-cutting, funktafied feminist with little regard to how she might inconvenience you with her brown girl flyness. Happy birthday, Rosie!