Croatian-born actor Goran Visnjic has earned acclaim in theater, on television, and on the silver screen.
Visnjic grew up in Sibenik, Croatia, a port town on the Adriatic Sea, where he decided at an early age that he wanted to be an actor. He first performed in local theater groups and then entered the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He gained popularity in Croatia when, at the age of 21, he was cast as Hamlet in the prestigious Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s staging of Shakespeare’s play. The production received rave reviews, with Visnjic’s own performance earning him three national Best Actor awards, including an Orlando (the Croatian equivalent of a Tony). Visnjic’s additional theater credits include “Les Fourberies de Scapin,” “L’Ecole des Femmes,” “Miss Julie,” “Ivanov,” “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Le Baruffe Chiozotte.”
Visnjic later became known worldwide for his role as Dr. Luka Kovac on the television series “ER,” which he starred in for nine years. With his fellow actors from the show, he was twice nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ top television honor of the ensemble prize. His other television appearances include the miniseries “Spartacus,” in the title role, directed by Robert Dornhelm; John Kent Harrison’s telefilm “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler”; the U.K. miniseries “The Deep”; the Croatian miniseries “Duga mračna noć (Long Dark Night)”; and, most recently, starring in the series “Extant.”
Visnjic made his American motion-picture debut in the critically acclaimed drama, “Welcome to Sarajevo,” directed by Michel Winterbottom. Among his other screen credits are Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s “The Deep End”, opposite Tilda Swinton; in voiceover, Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha’s blockbuster “Ice Age”; John Dahl’s “Rounders”; Griffin Dunne’s “Practical Magic”; Lisa Krueger’s “Committed”; Rob Bowman’s “Elektra”; Mimi Leder’s “The Peacemaker”; Sandra Nettelbeck’s “Helen”, opposite Ashley Judd; and Nick Willing’s “Close Your Eyes (a.k.a. Doctor Sleep),” for which Visnjic was named Best Actor at the Paris Film Festival.
In his leisure time, Visnjic enjoys fencing, swimming and diving. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Eva Visnjic, and his birthday is September 9.