Family & Companions
Although he rose to prominence as ambitious undertaker Rico Diaz on the groundbreaking HBO series "Six Feet Under" (2001-05), Freddy Rodriguez had been plying his trade as an actor for nearly a decade. Turning to performing to escape the criminality of inner city living, Rodriguez quit Chicago for Hollywood in 1994 and quickly built an impressive résumé of feature film and television roles. An early part as the son of screen legend Anthony Quinn in Alfonso Arau's "A Walk in the Clouds" (1995) led to meatier assignments in "Dead Presidents" (1995), "The Pest" (1997), "Payback" (1999) and the HBO biopic "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story" (2000). During the acclaimed run of "Six Feet Under," Rodriguez was a semi-regular on the hit NBC sitcom "Scrubs" (NBC/ABC, 2001-2010) and starred with Anne Hathaway in Barbara Kopple's controversial "Havoc" (2005). With the uptake in his celebrity stock, Rodriguez enjoyed bits in Wolfgang Petersen's big budget disaster flick "Poseidon" (2006) and M. Night Shyamalan's whimsical "Lady in the Lake" (2006) while proving a charismatic leading man in Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" (2007) and Randall Miller's indie comedy "Bottle Shock" (2008). Not even the quick cancellation of his CBS series "Chaos" (2011) could slow the career ascendancy of Freddy Rodriguez, who quickly bounced back with roles in the films "Seal Team Six" (2012) and "CBGB" (2013), and recurring roles on the medical series "The Night Shift" (NBC 2014- ) and the comedy-drama "Bull" (CBS 2016- ).
Freddy Rodriguez was born on Jan. 17, 1975 in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, IL. At the age of five, Rodriguez's father, a janitor, moved the family to a new home in the Little Puerto Rico section of Chicago's multiracial Bucktown community, where future rappers Common and Kanye West numbered among his childhood friends. As an escape from a climate plagued by criminality and gang activity, the preteen Rodriguez developed an interest in acting. His participation in a drama program for inner city children won him a spot with the Whirlwind Performance Company, an experimental program for at-risk youths. This exposure led to a scholarship to the Pulaski International School of Chicago, which Rodriguez attended through eighth grade. He appeared in several student productions at the arts-centered Lincoln Park High School while also honing his skills as a dancer and hip-hop choreographer.
Rodriguez made his feature film debut in Peter Pistor's indie film "The Fence" (1994). Filmed in Chicago and nearby city Joliet, the film featured the fledgling actor in early scenes as a 13-year-old sentenced to prison for killing his abusive father. Following his 1994 high school graduation, Rodriguez headed to Los Angeles to try his luck as a working actor and found gainful employment with uncommon speed. In Alfonso Arau's gauzy period romance "A Walk in the Clouds" (1995), he played the namesake son of screen legend Anthony Quinn and was a maimed Vietnam veteran using his knowledge of demolitions to help his buddies rob an armored car in the Hughes Brothers' crime drama "Dead Presidents" (1995). In the two-part NBC telefilm "Seduced by Madness: The Diane Borchardt Story" (1996), Rodriguez was one of a trio of teenagers who agree to kill the husband of Wisconsin teacher's aide Ann-Margret. Wary of trapping himself in the career ghetto of playing ethnic punks, Rodriguez found himself turning down more jobs than he was accepting. His career gamble paid off in a string of unorthodox projects. If Paul Miller's "The Pest" (1997), in which Rodriguez played the buddy of star John Leguizamo, was buried under the metric tonnage of horrific reviews, his name rarely came up in the conversation. In Philippe Mora's faith-based morality tale "Joseph's Gift" (1998), the actor appeared as a modern day version of the Biblical character, etched as an heir to a Los Angeles garment business who is betrayed by his brothers and made a literal sweat shop slave. He was a passing punk in the Mel Gibson vehicle "Payback" (1999) but balanced the indignity with small screen appearances on the popular Fox drama "Party of Five" (1994-2000) and in the Emmy Award-winning HBO biopic "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story" (2000) starring Andy Garcia.
The role that put Rodriguez on the industry map came with his casting on the groundbreaking HBO miniseries "Six Feet Under" (2001-05). Initially a mere supporting player in the larger drama of a dysfunctional Los Angeles family that owns an independent funeral home, Rodriguez's Puerto Rican restorative artist Rico Diaz grew in depth and nuance throughout the critically-acclaimed series' five seasons. Never condescending to making the character a role model for Hispanic viewers, the series' writers etched him instead as a flawed but industrious character worthy of parity with his Anglo employers - which Rico received in the final season. During the run of the series, Rodriguez also appeared in three episodes of the medical sitcom "Scrubs" (NBC/ABC, 2001-2010), delivering the majority of his dialogue in Spanish as the brother of series lead Judy Reyes, and played an East L.A. drug dealer who hooks up with bored rich girl Anne Hathaway in "Havoc" (2005), directed by documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.
Wrapping up the final season of "Six Feet Under," Rodriguez appeared in a string of big-ticket Hollywood films and indie projects. He was Christian Bale's conscience-plagued buddy in David Ayer's "Harsh Times" (2005), a violent tale of criminality in South Central Los Angeles. He had less to do as a doomed crewman in a capsized luxury liner in Wolfgang Petersen's "Poseidon" (2006) but was appealing in Emilio Estevez's "Bobby" (2006) as an Ambassador Hotel busboy who witnesses the 1968 assassination of presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy. Reduced to sight gag status in M. Night Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water" (2006), the actor was nonetheless memorably amusing as a weightlifter who only exercises half of his body. In "Planet Terror" (2007), Robert Rodriguez's contribution to the retro omnibus "Grindhouse," Rodriguez enjoyed a rare heroic assignment, playing leading man to top-billed Rose McGowan.
Rodriguez won another principal role as a charming Napa Valley vintner in Randall Miller's wine country comedy "Bottle Shock" (2008), co-starring Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman, and returned to his native Chicago to play a returning U.S. soldier adjusting to civilian life in Alfredo de Villa's Christmas tale "Nothing Like the Holidays" (2008), which the actor also executive produced. Back on the small screen, he buzzed his head to play the boyfriend of America Ferrara in a dozen episodes of "Ugly Betty" (2007-2010), ABC's reworking of the Colombian telenovia "Yo soy Betty, la fea" (RCN-TV, 1999-2001). Rodriguez was the first actor cast for the 20th Century Fox series "Chaos" (CBS, 2011), an espionage satire in which he played a CIA mole. The series premiered in April 2011 as a midseason replacement, but the network put "Chaos" on hiatus after only three episodes had been aired, allowing the remaining episodes to run their course later that year, and Rodriguez to return to the market as an endlessly appealing and eminently useful actor for-hire.
Rodriguez continued working steadily as a guest star on television and in smaller roles in films ranging from terrorism drama "Seal Team Six" 2012) to punk rock biopic "CBGB" (2013). In 2014, he joined the cast of medical drama "The Night Shift" (NBC 2014- ) as Dr. Michael Ragosa. After two seasons, he left that series to co-star opposite Michael Weatherly in comedy-drama "Bull" (CBS 2016- ), a show based on the early career of its co-creator, TV doctor Phil McGraw. Rodriguez also did voice work as Spider-Man 2099 in the animated series "Ultimate Spider-Man" (Disney 2012- ).
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Professional acting debut in an episode of the short-lived CBS drama "Polish Hill"
Made feature debut in "The Fence"
Played a Vietnam veteran in "Dead Presidents" with Chris Tucker and Larenz Tate
First major supporting role in "A Walk in the Clouds"
Appeared opposite John Leguizamo in "The Pest"
Played an obnoxious jock in the ensemble "Can't Hardly Wait"
Co-starred in the HBO movie "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story"
Played the regular role of mortician Federico Diaz in the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under"; earned an Emmy nomination in 2002 for Supporting Actor in a Drama
Had a recurring role as Carla's brother Marco on NBC's "Scrubs"
Played a jockey in the movie "Dreamer" co-starring Dakota Fanning
Cast as a busboy in Emilio Estevez's directorial debut, "Bobby," an ensemble centered around the night of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination
Starred in director Wolfgang Petersen's remake of "The Poseidon Adventure"
Cast as El Wray in "Planet Terror," Robert Rodriguez's portion of the double-feature film, "Grindhouse" a collaboration with Quentin Tarantino
Joined the second season of ABC's "Ugly Betty" as Gio, the sandwich cart guy
Made executive producing debut, "Nothing Like the Holidays"; also starred as a solider home for the holidays
Starred on the short-lived action TV series "Chaos"
Voiced a role on the animated series "Generator Rex"
Played Michael Ragosa on the medical drama "The Night Shift"
Joined the cast of the CBS drama "Bull"