Goran Visnjic (Actor) - ER
Goran Visnjic 1
Updated: 5/26/11

Name: Goran Visnjic

Born: September 9, 1972, Sibenik, SR Croatia, SFR

Claim To Fame: He is best known for his role as Dr. Luka Kovac in the hit television series ER.

Family Life: Visnjic is married to Croatian sculptor Ivana Vrdoljak They adopted a baby boy in April 2007 that they named Tin after Croatian poet Tin Ujevic. He also has a daughter, Lana Lourdes Rupic, born March 21, 2007 with Mirela Rupic. Goran accepted paternity in November 2007. He and his wife are expecting a baby together this summer.

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Info: During his childhood, Visnjic appeared in plays, and when he was 16 he made his screen debut in the controversial Yugoslav film Braca po materi (1988). He played the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival in Croatia for seven years from 1994 to 2000.

He enjoyed some small roles in films such as The Peacemaker, Committed and Practical Magic before being cast as the doctor who would replace the departing George Clooney on ER. Visnjic joined ER in the sixth season in late 1999, eventually becoming the show's male lead in mid-season 11. He stayed with the show for nine years.

His other projects include a co-starring role in the movie The Deep End, a voice-acting part in Ice Age, and starring roles in Posljednja volja and Doctor Sleep.

He has appeared in the television miniseries Spartacus, and the Croatian movie and television series Duga mracna noc (all in 2004). In 2005, he appeared with Jennifer Garner in the movie Elektra.

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Trivia: Was named People magazine's Sexiest Import in 1999 and "One of TV's Sexiest Men" in the June 5?11, 2005 TV Guide.

Was ranked #18 in Croatian-based monthly film magazine Hollywood in Best Croatian Male Movie Stars of All Time list in November 2005.

Was named as the Best Croatian actor in 2004.

Appeared in UNKLE's music video for the song "Burn My Shadow", released in May 2007.

Was one of four finalists for the role of James Bond, eventually losing out to British actor Daniel Craig.

Has one older brother, Josko.

Appeared in Madonna's 1998 music video, "The Power of Goodbye."

Hobbies are fencing, swimming, and diving.

Wind surfs and practices kung fu.

Has a large scar on his stomach from gastric ulcer surgery.

His last name was derived of both Croatian and Serbian word "visnja", which means cherry. Therefore Visnjic means "of the cherry".

Served a year-long tour of duty with the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA).

Joined the nascent Croatian Army in defending his hometown against JNA-supported Krajina Serbs.

Studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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Where Are They Now: Visnjic starred in the 2008 film Helen with Ashley Judd, and appeared with Carla Gugino in a segment of the 2009 film New York, I Love You, an anthology set in New York. His segment ended up being cut from the theatrical version of the film, but was included in the DVD version.

He appeared in the historical drama The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, which aired on CBS on April 19, 2009. He had a role in the Mike Mills independent film Beginners alongside Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor, and in 2009, he played the role of Samson in the Tiger Aspect television miniseries The Deep, shown on BBC One in 2010.

Other recent credits include a role as Andrija Hebrang in the historical drama Tito on Croatian television, a portrayal of a disgraced cop in the unsold 2010 pilot for the ABC Studios Production of Boston's Finest, and an appearance in the two episode third-season finale of the television series Leverage, as international crime financier Damien Moreau.

Currently, he is filming The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo, in which he plays Dragan Armansky, the head of a security agency; he has signed to play this role as part of a three film trilogy.

Aside from acting, Visnjic is also active in American and European animal rights movements. He is a representative for both the International Fund for Animal Welfare and an Animal Friends Croatia, as well as providing assistance to a number of small animal-rescue organizations in southern California. He also provided support to several medical institutions in Croatia through the donation of money or equipment.

Recently, he appeared on the American benefit program Stand Up to Cancer, and appeared in photographs with his dog Bugsy in PETA's first Eastern European anti-fur campaign. Visnjic has also been one of the faces of ER on NBC's long- running The More You Know campaign.

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