Demián Bichir

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Bichir and the second or maternal family name is Nájera.
Demián Bichir

Demian Bichir at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards for The Bridge.

Bichir at the 2014 Peabody Awards
Born Demián Bichir Nájera
(1963-08-01) August 1, 1963
Torreon, Mexico
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Lisset Gutierrez (div. 2003)
Partner(s) Stefanie Sherk (2011–present)
Children 1
Parent(s) Maricruz Nájera
Alejandro Bichir
Relatives Bruno Bichir (brother)
Odiseo Bichir (brother)

Demián Bichir Nájera (Spanish pronunciation: [deˈmjam biˈtʃir ˈnaxeɾa]; born August 1, 1963)[1] is a Mexican actor.[2][3][4] He is from a well-known family of Mexican actors, the Bichir family,[5] which includes his parents Alejandro Bichir and Maricruz Nájera and his brothers Odiseo Bichir and Bruno Bichir. He began his acting career in many Mexican telenovelas and films before achieving fame for roles in Mexican films, such as the record-breaking Sexo, pudor y lágrimas and Sin noticias de Dios. In the U.S., he played Detective Marco Ruiz in the FX drama television series The Bridge.[6] He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for A Better Life (2011) and played Bob in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

Early life

Bichir was born at Torreon,[1][7] the son of actor Alejandro Bichir and actress Maricruz Nájera.[1] He began his career in the theater and became a member of the National Theater Company at the age of 13, performing Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky, among others. His mastery of the greats at a young age garnered him several awards from the Mexican Association of Theater Critics.[8]


Bichir in 2012

Early career

Bichir's first film role was the United States production Choices of the Heart. He got his first starring character in the Telenovela El Rincon de los Prodigios, where he acts as a stranger who performs miracles in front of the people confronting the corrupt authorities and the church. Bichir continued his acting roles in telenovelas with film productions of Mexico, Spain and the United States. After a long retirement of the Mexican telenovelas in favor of a film career, he returned to TV Azteca and played an honest detective who tries to tackle corruption and drug problems in Mexico in the telenovela Nada Personal. His performance led him to act as the same detective in Con Toda El Alma.

Mexican film breakout

His film Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (1999) broke box-office records in Mexico becoming the #1 film in the history of Mexican cinema. He performed one of the main characters and brought him sufficient praise to earn him the Ariel. The film brought a lot of attention to him and to his brothers. They acted in so many films that in the MTV Movie Awards-México a special category was created: "Mejor Bichir en una Película" ("Best Bichir in a movie"). He earned this award for the 2003 film Bendito infierno (Holy Hell or Don't Tempt Me), in which he co-starred with Victoria Abril, Penélope Cruz and Gael García Bernal.

United States

He starred in the American film In the Time of the Butterflies (2001) with Salma Hayek, based on the real life of a group of sisters who fought against the government of a Dominican dictator. Later, he got some recognition when he depicted Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh's biopic Che (2008) on the life of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.[9]

He was exposed to a wider American audience with his recurring role as Esteban Reyes, the corrupt mayor of Tijuana and love interest of Nancy Botwin from season four to seven in Showtime's Weeds.

Bichir found mainstream U.S. work following his critically acclaimed performance as Carlos Galindo in the 2011 drama A Better Life, which garnered him nominations for the Independent Spirit Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. On 24 January 2012, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in A Better Life.[10][11] His nomination came as a shock to Mexican and American audiences alike. He is the first male Mexican actor to receive this nomination since Anthony Quinn. Though Bichir failed to win the award, he followed it up with roles in the major American releases Savages, The Heat, and Machete Kills. In 2013, he began starring in the FX drama television series The Bridge as Detective Marco Ruiz.

Bichir made his directorial debut, Refugio, which is set to be released in 2016.[12][13] In February 2016, Bichir was cast in Alien: Covenant, the second installment of the Alien prequel series.[14]

Political activism

Bichir is an ACLU Ambassador for Immigration Rights.[15][16][17]

Personal life

At the age of 22, Bichir moved to New York City with his ex-girlfriend in order to get into the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. For a brief period, he did not act and started working at the Rosa Mexicano Restaurant in NYC while learning English. Later, he moved to Los Angeles but failed to land in any acting roles, ultimately deciding to go back to his native Mexico, where he found great success.[18] Since 2011, Bichir has been in a relationship with actress Stefanie Sherk.[19]

Bichir was married to Mexican singer Lisset Gutiérrez, whom he divorced in 2003. He stated that he finds long-term commitment difficult. He had a short-lived relationship which led to the birth of his daughter, Gala,[20] in May 2011 in Spain.[21] He remains involved in his daughter's life.[22]

Bichir holds dual Mexican and American citizenship.[23] He splits his time between homes in Los Angeles and Mexico City.[15][20]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Choices of the Heart Armando
1986 Astucia
1987 Hotel Colonial Young Hotel Clerk
1988 Carmen Vampira
The Penitent Roberto
1989 Rojo amanecer Jorge
1992 Marea suave
1993 Miroslava Ricardo
La vida conyugal Gaspar Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor
1994 Ya la hicimos
Pruebas de amor
Hasta morir Mauricio Ariel Award for Best Actor
1995 Cilantro y perejil Carlos Rodríguez Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor
Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto Omar
1996 Solo Rio
Salón México Insp. Casteléon
1997 Perdita Durango Catalina
1998 Demasiado corazón
Luces de la noche Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Supporting Actor
1999 Santitos Cacomixtle
Ave Maria Daniel
Todo el poder Gabriel
Sexo, pudor y lágrimas Tomás Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor
2000 El silencio del tiempo
La toma de la embajada Rosemberg Pabón, 'Comandante Uno'
2001 Sin noticias de Dios Manny MTV Movie Award for Best Bichir in a Film
In the Time of the Butterflies Manuel 'Manolo' Tavárez Justo
2002 Ciudades oscuras ("Dark Cities") Mario Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Bichir in a Film
Heartbreak Hospital Tonio
2004 Zapata: Amor en Rebeldía Emiliano Zapata (miniseries)
Noche en Lima
Hipnos Miguel
2007 Fuera del cielo Everardo Sánchez
American Visa Mario Alvarez
2008 Che Fidel Castro
2010 Hidalgo: La historia jamás contada Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor
2011 A Better Life Carlos Galindo Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – ALMA Award for Favourite Male Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Latino Performance
The Runway
2012 Savages Alex Nominated – ALMA Award for Favorite Movie Actor: Supporting Role
El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza[24] Cerdo Gutiérrez (voice)
2013 The Heat Hale
Machete Kills Mendez the Madman
Dom Hemingway Mr. Fontaine
2014 Death in Buenos Aires Inspector Chávez
2015 The Hateful Eight Bob ("The Mexican")
2016 Good Kids Yaco
2016 Low Riders Filming
2016 7:19
2017 Alien: Covenant Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Rina Juanito
1982 Vivir enamorada Nacho
1983 Cuando los hijos se van Ricardo
1984 Los años felices Tomas
1988 El rincón de los prodigios Monchito
1996 Nada personal Comandante Alfonso Carbajal
2005 La otra mitad del sol Felipe Saenz
2008 Weeds Esteban Reyes 27 episodes
2013–2014 The Bridge Detective Marco Ruiz 26 episodes

Dubbing roles


Award Category Title of work Result
Academy Awards Best Actor A Better Life Nominated
ALMA Awards Favorite Movie Actor Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated


  1. 1 2 3 "Demián Bichir" (in Spanish). Televisa. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  2. Smiley, Tavis (18 July 2014). "Actor-activist Demián Bichir". Tavis Smiley. PBS. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  3. Bichir, Demian (10 June 2014). "Exiled: The Obama Administration's Horrifying Deportation Record". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  4. Main, Ph.D., S.J. (27 February 2012). "Actor Demian Bichir Talks Hollywood, Scarlett, Oscars & Being Latino (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. Sager, Mike (23 July 2014). "Demian and Bruno Bichir Talk Working Together on The Bridge". Esquire. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. Petrarca, Emilia (10 July 2013). "Crossing the Bridge". Interview. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  7. "Demián Bichir" (in Spanish). Milenio. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  8. "The Stubbornness of Demian Bichir". Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  9. Balfour, Brad (6 June 2009). "The Young Castro Comes Alive In Soderbergh's Epic Che Through Actor Demian Bichir's Performance". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  10. "Nominees-The Oscars 2012". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  11. Rodriguez, Cindy Y. (24 January 2012). "Demián Bichir: Mexican Actor Nominated For An Academy Award For Best Actor In 'A Better Life' (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  12. Aguilar, Carlos (5 September 2014). "Demian Bichir Talks Diversity and Latino Representation in Film and TV". Indiewire. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  13. Amatangelo, Amy (10 September 2014). "Catching Up With Demian Bichir of The Bridge". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  14. Fleming, Jr., Mike (February 22, 2016). "Demian Bichir Joins Ridley Scott's 'Alien: Covenant'". Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. 1 2 "Demian Bichir: ACLU Ambassador Project". ACLU. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  16. "Mexican Actor Demian Bichir Named New ACLU 'Ambassador On Immigration Rights'". Fox News Latino. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  17. Carter, Gayle Jo (23 July 2014). "Demian Bichir builds a 'Bridge' from acting to activism". USA Today. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  18. Corcoran, Katherine (23 February 2012). "Demian Bichir: Oscar Nominee For 'A Better Life' Interview On Leaving Mexico And His Move To The U.S.". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  19. "From soccer dreams to 'The Bridge:' Demian Bichir shares his passion for acting". miamiherald. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  20. 1 2 Mandell, Andrea (18 January 2012). "Demian Bichir disappears into Oscar-worthy role". USA Today. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  21. Grossman, Samantha (24 January 2012). "Demián Bichir, Star of A Better Life and Surprise Oscar Nominee". Time. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  22. Kuckzynski, Alex (19 August 2011). "The Devil and Demian Bichir". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  23. Bichir, Demian (2 July 2012). "Demian Bichir: 'What It Means To Be American' (VIDEO". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  24. "Personajes". El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza. Retrieved 13 September 2014.

External links

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