Wilmer Antonio Valderrama (born January 30, 1980) is an American actor, best known for the role of Fez in the sitcom That '70s Show.
Valderrama was born in Miami
, the son of Sobeida and Balvino Valderrama, who owned a farm equipment rental company. His mother is from Colombia
and his father is from Venezuela
. The family moved to Venezuela when he was three years old, then to Los Angeles
when he was thirteen. He has two sisters, Marylin and Stephanie, and a brother.
He did not speak English upon his arrival, but he quickly learned the language in school and began drama classes during high school. Valderrama has said that he was aided in learning English from watching shows such as I Love Lucy. In one teen magazine, it was said that Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty has helped him learn English.
Valderrama got his start performing in numerous plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream
. He made his professional debut in a Spanish-language Pacific Bell
commercial. At his drama teacher's suggestion, he got an agent and was immediately cast in the CBS
miniseries Four Corners
and in Omba Makamba
on the Disney Channel
He made his big screen debut starring opposite Freddie Prinze Jr.
, Brittany Murphy
, Matthew Lillard
and Jessica Biel
in the Warner Brothers
film Summer Catch.
Valderrama played Fez on That '70s Show from 1998-2006; he was a junior in high school when the pilot episode was filmed. He also played DJ Keoki in the 2003 film Party Monster alongside Macaulay Culkin, Chloë Sevigny, Wilson Cruz and Seth Green. He has produced and hosted the MTV series Yo Momma since 2006, and appeared (involuntarily) as many as three times on another MTV mainstay, Punk'd, hosted by fellow That '70s alum Ashton Kutcher.
Valderrama recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times
critic's choice play Blackout
, an adaptation of the feature film Drunks
, and starred opposite Anjelica Huston
and Ben Kingsley
in the Actors' Fund of America
one-performance only reading of Sunset Boulevard
. He has completed filming the short film La Torcedura
in which he plays the lead, and recently wrapped production on The Darwin Awards
, an independent film directed by Finn Taylor
, starring Winona Ryder
and Joseph Fiennes
In animation work, Valderrama voiced Rodrigo in Clifford's Really Big Movie, playing alongside John Ritter, Wayne Brady and Jenna Elfman. He also voices the main character, Manny, in Disney Channel’s Handy Manny series for preschoolers. He had starring role in El Muerto, an indie film directed by Brian Cox and based on the successful comic book created by Javier Hernandez. In January 2007, Valderrama announced that he would launch his own men's fashion label called "Calavena".
Valderrama made an appearance in Paula DeAnda's music video for "Easy", as well as Colombian singer Fanny Lu's new video "Tu No Eres Para Mi", where he portrays her boyfriend.
Valderrama, who maintains close friendships with former That '70s
co-stars Topher Grace
, Ashton Kutcher
and Danny Masterson
, has also managed some notable romantic liaisons in his off-screen life, having dated Mandy Moore
for 18 months in 2000-01, and Lindsay Lohan
in 2003-04. He has also been rumored to have dated Christina Milian
In 2008 he used his celebrity status to endorse a charity against drunk driving.