Attractive comic actor Wilmer Valderrama is widely recognized as foreign-exchange student Fez on the Fox hit sitcom “That '70s Show” (1998-2006). While working on the long-running show, Valderrama has also appeared on the big screen in such films as Summer Catch (2001), Party Monster (2003), The Darwin Awards (2006) and Fast Food Nation (2006). He will soon appear in Unaccompanied Minors and is set to star as Officer Francis "Ponch" Poncherello in the remake of the classic TV series “CHiPs.” He is currently hosting MTV’s new reality show called “Yo Momma.”
The 5' 8" tall, dark and handsome Latino actor was named one of People magazine's "Top 50 Bachelors" of 2002. He has gained a great deal of publicity for dating such Hollywood starlets as Ashlee Simpson (musician, actress; born on October 3, 1984; rumored to have briefly dated in 2005), Lindsay Lohan (actress, musician; born on July 2, 1986; dated May 2004-November 2004), Mandy Moore (actress, musician; born on April 10, 1984; met at a photo shoot; dated 2001-2002) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (actress, musician; born on February 21, 1979; briefly dated in 1999). Valderrama later raised public eyebrows when he publicly bragged about his sexual conquests on the Howard Stern show in March of 2006.
Childhood and Family:
Colombian and Venezuelan descendant Wilmer Valderrama was born on January 30, 1980, in Miami, Florida, to Venezuela-native parents Balvino and Sobeida Valderrama. At age three, Wilmer, alongside his parents and two sisters, returned to their homeland Venezuela but moved back to the United States 10 years later. Settling down in Los Angeles, Wilmer, who did not speak English, quickly picked up the language through watching “Sesame Street.”
Wilmer attended William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California, where he began taking drama classes to help assimilate him into the American culture. He graduated from high school in 1999.
A huge fan of song "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin, Wilmer currently resides in Tarzana, California.
In high school, Wilmer Valderrama became interested in acting and performed in several plays, including “The Impossible Years,” “Never Been Kissed,” “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” and “Rumors.” He soon landed his first professional appearance in a Spanish Pacific Bell TV commercial and at his drama teacher's suggestion, Valderrama got an agent and was immediately cast in the CBS miniseries “Four Corners” (1998). He followed it up with an appearance on the Disney Channel series "Omba Makomba."
Valderrama’s soon received his first real break in 1998 when he nabbed the role of Fez, a loveable foreign-exchange student desperately trying to fit into 1970’s suburban Wisconsin, on FOX’s sitcom “That ‘70’s Show.” Although the show revolves around the lives of several 17-year-olds living in Point Place, Wisconsin, 1976, it attracted fans from all age groups and became an instant popular series. It consequently helped Valderrama, alongside other cast members like Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Laura Prepon, achieve celebrity status. He has won two Teen Choice Awards and is currently in production on the show’s 7th season.
During his stint on the successful show, Valderrama also worked on the big screen. He appeared in Michael Tollin's baseball flick Summer Catch (2001, starring Freddie Prinze Jr and Jessica Biel), Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's club-kid movie Party Monster (2003, opposite Macaulay Culkin, Chloe Sevigny and Seth Green) and lent his voice to Robert C. Ramirez' adaptation of Norman Bridwell's book, Clifford's Really Big Movie (2004, with John Ritter, Wayne Brady and Jenna Elfman). TV viewers could also watched Valderrama play guest roles in "Grounded for Life," "Mad TV" and "Driven."
Valderrama subsequently was asked to star in Pascal Leister's short movie Torcedura, La (2004), where he played a young working-class man accused of money laundering, and Brian Cox's fantasy drama, based on the "El Muerto, The Aztec Zombie" comic series, Muerto, El (2005). He also had an unaccredited role in Bille Woodruff's comedy Beauty Shop (2005, starring Queen Latifah).
More recently, Valderrama’s career climbed to a new level when he pitched the show “Yo Momma” to MTV. In the comedy show, in which he works as the host and executive producer, Valderrama roamed America in search of the country’s best free-style trash-talkers. The reality show reached 61 million viewers in its first full season and ranked #1 in its time slot among 12-24 year olds.
Back to film, Valderrama could be seen in writer-director Finn Taylor's romantic comedy The Darwin Awards (starring Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder) and Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro's short comedy Longtime Listener (as a radio manager). He was also cast in Richard Linklater's ensemble drama Fast Food Nation (with Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Greg Kinnear), based on the bestselling novel which examines the health risks involved in the fast food industry.
Valderrama will soon appear in Paul Feig's upcoming drama comedy Unaccompanied Minors. He is also set to star as Officer Francis "Ponch" Poncherello in the film version of the huge hit classic TV series “CHiPs” (2007), a role made famous in the 1970’s by Erik Estrada. Additionally, it was reported that Valderrama and John Leguizamo have agreed to star in a family comedy for Walt Disney Pictures, Something Blue, which follows a father who gets angry when his daughter becomes engaged to a young police officer.
Adding to his TV and film work, Valderrama has also performed on stage. He appeared in the Los Angeles Times critic's choice play "Blackout," which is adapted from the feature film “Drunks.” He also joined Anjelica Huston and Sir Ben Kingsley in the Actors Fund of America one-performance only, all-star reading of the Paramount Pictures screenplay “Sunset Boulevard,” helmed by Peter Hunt.
Valderrama is also a businessman. He partnered up with fellow "That ‘70’s Show” co-stars Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher to set up the Hollywood hotspot restaurants Dolce, in 2003, and Geisha House, in 2005.
- Teen Choice: Choice TV Sidekick, "That ‘70’s Show," 2005
- Teen Choice: Choice TV Sidekick, "That ‘70’s Show," 2003