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Goran Visnjic

Real name: Goran Visnjic
Birthdate: September 9, 1972
Status: Married
Partner: Ivana Vrdoljak

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Goran Višnjić (pronounced /'ʋiʃ.ɲiʨ/ ('VISH-nyich')) (born September 9, 1972) is a Croatian actor who has appeared in American films and television productions. He is best known for his role as Dr. Luka Kovač in the hit television series ER.

Višnjić was born in the city of Šibenik (in Yugoslavia, now along the coast of Croatia); he has an older brother, Joško. His father, Željko Višnjić, was a bus driver, and his mother, Milka, worked in a food market. He appeared in plays throughout his childhood and 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.

Višnjić 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 an excerpt from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Croatian. In the same episode, he demonstrated his skill in another Shakespeare-related hobby by fencing with Noah Wyle's character, Dr. John 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. Višnjić joined ER in the sixth season (late 1999) and assumed the lead at the beginning of Season 12. In March 2007, it was announced by the entertainment media that Višnjić will quit ER at the end of the season. Although Višnjić himself had hinted at it, the timing of his departure proved to be inaccurate. Višnjić will return to ER for its 14th season on a limited basis, before departing the main cast permanently at an indeterminate point in the season.

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 television mini-series Spartacus and the Croatian movie and television series Duga mračna noć. He appeared with Jennifer Garner in the movie Elektra. Višnjić appeared in UNKLE's music video for the song "Burn My Shadow", released in May 2007.

Višnjić is married to Ivana Vrdoljak (the daughter of Antun Vrdoljak). They reside in Los Angeles. It was revealed in April 2007 that the couple had adopted a newborn baby boy, whom they have named Tin after Croatian poet Tin Ujević.

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

He was named People magazine's Sexiest Import in 1999 and "One of TV's Sexiest Men" in the June 5 – June 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.


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