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Rosario Dawson Rosario Dawson was born May 9, 1979, in New York City. She was raised in a Manhattan tenement building by her Bronx-born mother, a professional vocalist, and her father, who worked in construction. Although Rosario's parents separated when she was still young, they continued to live in the same building, allowing Rosario and her brother to remain close to them.

Dawson attended an alternative school in downtown Manhattan, where she harboured aspirations of one day becoming a marine biologist. When she reached age 15, however, Dawson's career plans unexpectedly changed. She was literally cast off the street for the role of Ruby in the 1995 production Kids, after director Larry Clark spotted her on the stoop of her apartment building. Kids depicts 24 hours in the life of a group of New York street kids and the havoc that runs through their lives.

Kids went on to become a controversial hit, and Dawson opted out of her college plans, choosing instead to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

The training Dawson received at the Strasberg Institute complemented the publicity that Kids had earned her, and it wasn't long before she received her second casting call, this time from Spike Lee for his 1998 film, He Got Game.

That same year she appeared in Side Streets, which features a series of vignettes depicting life throughout New York City.

Over the course of the next few years, Dawson appeared in three more small-time films: as an honour student held hostage in Light It Up, a pothead in Down to You, and a bully in King of the Jungle. Although none of these projects were box-office hits, they provided Dawson with the exposure crucial to a young actress, and the jobs kept coming.

Her next role was as bassist Valerie Brown in 2001's feature film, Josie and the Pussycats. Despite the slew of publicity Josie and the Pussycats enjoyed preceding its release, the movie was a disappointment both critically and popularly. Nonetheless, the mass marketing of the film translated well for Dawson, who soon found herself on the "hot new faces" lists of entertainment publications throughout the country.

Before the end of 2001, she managed to appear in three more movies: Sidewalks of New York, Trigger Happy and Chelsea Walls, an Ethan Hawke production.

In 2002 she played Dina Lake, a beautiful earthling who has travelled to the moon to further her singing ambitions in The Adventures of Pluto. This role cast her opposite Eddie Murphy.

Rosario DawsonShe then starred opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the hit sequel Men in Black II.

Dawson was last seen on the big screen starring in the critically acclaimed Spike Lee film, The 25th Hour, opposite Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper.

Between films, Rosario Dawson juggles a relationship with Dawson's Creek star Joshua Jackson and a growing proficiency at guitar, which has been aided by lessons from one-time co-star Eddie Murphy.

She recently signed on to star in writer/director Oliver Stone's upcoming epic "Alexander" playing opposite Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. Dawson will play Roxane, Alexander's wife.

Filmography:

25th Hour (2002)
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Ash Wednesday (2002)
Blue Crush/Josie and the Pussycats (2002)
Chelsea Walls (2002)
The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest (2002)
Love in the Time of Money (2002)
Men in Black II (2002)
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
King of the Jungle (2001)
Sidewalks of New York (2001)
Down to You (2000)
Light It Up (1999)
Side Streets (1998)
Kids (1995)

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