Is Benicio Del Toro Related to Guillermo Del Toro? The Truth Behind the Surname

If you are a fan of movies, you might have wondered if the actors Benicio Del Toro and Guillermo Del Toro are related. They share the same last name and have both appeared in some of the most acclaimed films of the past decades. But are they really family? The answer is no. Here’s why.

The Origin of the Del Toro Surname

The Spanish surname “Del Toro” means “of the bull” and is derived from a nickname given to someone who was brave, strong, or fierce, like a bull. It is a common surname in Spain and Latin America, especially in Puerto Rico, where both Benicio and Guillermo were born. However, having the same surname does not necessarily imply a blood relation, as there are many people with this last name who are unrelated to each other.

The Different Backgrounds of Benicio and Guillermo

Benicio Del Toro was born on February 19, 1967, in San Germán or Santurce, Puerto Rico (sources are divided on his exact birthplace). He is the son of lawyers Gustavo Adolfo Del Toro Bermúdez and Fausta Genoveva Sánchez Rivera. He has an older brother, Gustavo, who is a medical doctor. He spent most of his childhood in Santurce, a district of San Juan, before moving to Pennsylvania with his father after his mother’s death when he was nine years old. He studied business at the University of California, San Diego, before switching to acting and moving to New York City. He made his film debut in Big Top Pee-wee (1988) and rose to fame with his roles in The Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, 21 Grams (2003), Sicario (2015), and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). He also played Che Guevara in Che (2008), directed by Steven Soderbergh, and the Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Guillermo Del Toro was born on October 9, 1964, in Guadalajara, Mexico. He is the son of Federico Del Toro Torres, an automotive entrepreneur, and Guadalupe Gómez, who ran a bookstore. He has two younger sisters, Susana and Rocio. He grew up in a Catholic household and developed a fascination with monsters and horror stories from an early age. He studied filmmaking at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos at the University of Guadalajara. He made his first feature film, Cronos (1993), which won nine Ariel Awards from the Mexican Academy of Film. He then moved to Hollywood and directed Mimic (1997), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004) and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, Pacific Rim (2013), Crimson Peak (2015), and The Shape of Water (2017), for which he won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. He also produced several films and TV shows, such as The Orphanage (2007), The Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), Trollhunters (2016–18), and Pinocchio (2021).

The Friendship Between Benicio and Guillermo

Despite not being related by blood, Benicio Del Toro and Guillermo Del Toro are good friends and have collaborated on several projects. They first met in 1993 at the Cannes Film Festival, where they bonded over their love of cinema and their Puerto Rican heritage. They have since worked together on four films: Mimic (1997), where Benicio played a detective; The Shape of Water (2017), where Benicio was a voice actor; Nightmare Alley (2021), where Benicio plays a carnival worker; and Pinocchio (2021), where Benicio voices Mangiafuoco. They have also expressed their admiration and respect for each other’s work in interviews and social media.

So, there you have it. Benicio Del Toro and Guillermo Del Toro are not related by blood, but by friendship and artistry. They share a common surname that reflects their Hispanic roots, but also their individual talents and achievements that have made them two of the most influential filmmakers of our time.

Doms Desk

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