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Sloe-eyed, Latinate actor José Zuñiga fit the bill in Hollywood for ethnic roles, largely Hispanic-natured character portrayals with a frequent authoritarian element. A native of Honduras, Zuñiga broke into showbusiness in the late 1980s, and thereafter moved comfortably between high-profiled projects on the big and small screens. Features included the Frank Marshall-directed cannibalism tale Alive (1993), the twin Wayne Wang/Paul Auster efforts Smoke (1995) and Blue in the Face (1995), the Ron Howard-directed thriller Ransom (1996), and the Burt Reynolds/Richard Dreyfuss-headlined mafia comedy The Crew (2000). On television, series that featured Zuñiga revealed a tendency to pigeonhole him in crime-themed material, often as a detective or other law enforcement authority. These programs included CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Shield, Prison Break, and Law & Order. In 2008, Zuñiga signed on to play Mr. Molina in the big screen version of Stephenie Meyer's vampiric novel Twilight.

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