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The outstanding Croatian actor built his acting reputation in theater performances in his home country. He currently stars as "Dr. Luka Kovac" on NBC's medical drama "ER". 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.” During his recent summer hiatus, Visnjic completed the independent film “The Deep End” directed by Scott McGhee, in which he starred opposite Tilda Swinton. He appeared with Heather Graham in Miramax 2000 film “Committed,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and will star in the upcoming independent film “Doctor Sleep.” Among Visnjic’s other film credits are “Practical Magic,” in which he starred alongside Nicole Kidman, and “The Peacemaker” also with Kidman and former “ER” star George Clooney. Visnjic also starred in three Croatian features, and made his American motion-picture debut in the critically acclaimed drama, “Welcome to Sarajevo,” directed by Michael Winterbottom. In his leisure time, Visnjic enjoys fencing, swimming and diving. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Ivana, a Croatian skulptor (m.from May,1999-present). He was born on September 9, 1972 in Sibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia (now Sibenik, Croatia). His Nickname is Sime (pronounced SHIH-meh). He was the youngest of two sons in his famly. Goran's height is 6' 4" (1.93 m). His father was a bus driver; mother worked in a food market. He trained as a paratrooper in the Croatian army at age 18, and volunteered to stay on for an additional three months during the war with Serbia.
Goran appeared in an anti-fur billboard campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals with his dog, Bugsy, beginning in January 2003. The ads read: "If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur." The campaign was PETA's first in eastern Europe.
More fun stuff about Goran Visnjic
Appeared in Madonna's 1998 music video, "The Power of Goodbye."
Named People magazine's Sexiest Import (1999)
Last name is pronounced 'VISH-nyich'
Trained at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb.
Played Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival each each year from 1993 to 2000 six years.
Is married to a Croatian sculptor named Ivana, daughter of film director Antun Vrdoljak.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world 
When word came through that he had been accepted in the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, his brother volunteered to take his place in the Army so he could study his craft.
At age 18, he trained during peacetime for basic crowd control and as a paratrooper in the Yugoslavian People's Army. He ended up fighting in Slovenia when the Serbian forces led by Slobodan Milosevic attacked this now former province of Yugoslavia, planning to cleanse their Slavic homeland of "unwanted ethnicities," Croats being one of them. When Goran's tour of duty was done he returned home where the Serbian forces had begun their attacks on Croatia (by the time of his return, Croatia had declared their independence). He volunteered to join the new Croatian Army, breaking his own promise to himself to never pick up a gun again.
Wind surfs and practices kung fu.
Has a large scar on his stomach from gastric ulcer surgery.
His father is Serbian from Montenegro.
May 26, 2002 - Donated 1000 pounds in prize money that he won on a Croatian quiz show, giving it to the country's theatres. At the time, he had never been on a TV quiz show.
Goran Visnjic: The Deep End
What made you want to work with directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel?
I saw their film "Suture", and then the script for this was magnificent. I knew Tilda Swinton would be playing the part of Margaret, and I saw her work in "Orlando", and thought "Oh, my God! "
You play a man who blackmails Tilda Swinton's character, after she hides the body of her son's male lover. Can you understand her actions?
I don't have kids, but I bet my mother would do some crazy things for me and my brother. It's my favourite moment in the film. There's always a big fuss about Lake Tahoe, where the film is set. It's one of the deepest lakes on the planet, and Nevada is near by. When gangsters kill somebody, they would dump people in the lake but when she does it, she dumps the body in 15ft of water! Why does she not think about it? She's not a criminal, she's a mother trying to protect her child. When she wipes the fingerprints off the car, she's doing it because she saw it in a film.
How does shooting a film differ from working on ER?
In ER it's different. You have a big arc, going from episode to episode. You never know what will happen in the next episode, because the producers and writers won't tell you. They try to keep actors eager to read the new scripts. When you get the script, you have to read it straight away to find out what happened. It's like life - you don't know what will happen in your life in the future.
Goran Visnjic is simply gorgeous
Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 2000, Goran Visnjic, called Sime (pronounced SHIH-meh) by friends, is simply gorgeous. (The same magazine had named him 1999's Sexiest Import.) A native of Yugoslavia, he trained as a paratrooper in the Croatian army at age 18, and volunteered to stay on for an additional three months during the war with Yugoslavia.
Since most of his acting has been done in foreign films, most of us know him best as Dr. Luka Kovac from NBC's ER. And that's where millions of females found a dreamy, sensitive, and totally appealing man to fantasize about. Am I one of them? Well, sort of. He's gorgeous, and totally sexy, I'll grant that much. He's also come to be an excellent actor with en ever broadening range.
So what makes Goran "totally delish"?
Much like Hugh Jackman, Goran Visnjic (pronounced 'VISH-nyich') is nearly perfect in his good looks. He has deep brown eyes that carry a heartfelt message with every glance, and both face and body seem chiseled from fine artist's clay. His dark hair tousles casually down over his forehead lending a softness and vulnerability that make him all the more alluring.
We expect to see great things from this actor. He's got talent, personal magnetism that can't be denied, and depth of character. Oh yes, and did I mention he was gorgeous?
Goran Visnjic plays Spartacus
Goran Visnjic stars as "Spartacus" in Spartacus, the four-hour USA Network Original Miniseries based on Howard Fast's acclaimed novel of the same name.
Visnjic captured Hollywood's attention when he made his American debut in the critically-acclaimed motion picture Welcome to Sarajevo, directed by Michael Winterbottom. He currently stars on NBC's critically-acclaimed drama ER as "Dr. Luka Kovac."
Rhona Mitra stars as "Varinia" in Spartacus. Mitra can currently be seen starring as "Tara Wilson" on The Practice.
Spartacus was filmed on location in Sophia, Bulgaria. Six countries were scouted before Bulgaria was picked as the filming location. The real Spartacus was born in Thrace (modern Bulgaria), and his birthplace is within easy driving distance of where the movie was shot.
The crew on Spartacus included natives of 14 different countries: Slovakia, England, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Morocco, Croatia, Spain, and the United States. Approximately eight languages were spoken on the set on any given day.
Catering on the set of Spartacus was responsible for feeding an average of 500 people a day. The final battle scene used over 1,000 live extras.
The Roman Forum set in Spartacus was laid with real stone, and over 36,000 square feet of stone was used. 220 construction workers took part in the construction of the sets. Approximately 1,800 swords and daggers, 1,000 shields, and 2,500 pairs of sandals were used during the filming of Spartacus.
Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, and others ''ELEKTRA'' Stars Attend Film's Premiere
You can't keep a good superhero down, as Jennifer Garner proved today, announcing that despite a painful injury that has sidelined her for over a week, she will attend this Saturday's (1/8) gala Las Vegas premiere of ELEKTRA.
In ELEKTRA, the first action event film of the year, Garner stars in the title role as a strong, mysterious and sexy action heroine. Garner initially was thought to be suffering from a viral infection, but doctors today concluded that the Golden Globe(R) Award-winning actress has nerve damage resulting from a stunt she performed on the set of "Alias," the acclaimed series in which she stars. Under doctor's orders to take it easy, she had to cancel a hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" and the film's press junket.
The Las Vegas event will see the Palms Casino and Hotel "Elektra-fied" with a 30-foot, pyrotechnically-enhanced billboard (in Elektra's signature red) and even special ELEKTRA red gambling chips and blackjack table felt in the Casino.
Garner will be joined on the Palms' red carpet by ELEKTRA fellow cast members Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee, Natassia Malthe, Kirsten Prout, Bob Sapp, Chris Ackerman and Colin Cunningham, plus Director Rob Bowman and Producer (and Marvel chief) Avi Arad. Other attendees include Michael Clarke Duncan, Jennie Garth, James King, "Desperate Housewives'" Jesse Metcalfe, Peter Facinelli, Jeremy Piven, Judy Greer and many others.
ELEKTRA, from Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises, opens nationwide January 14th.