Jimmy Jean-Louis, a Long Journey to Reach Success

Jimmy Jean-Louis, birthdate of August 8, 1968, is a Haitian-actor-model, who found fame as "The Haitian" in Heroes, an NBC series. He lived in Pétionville, near Port-au-Prince, from infancy, until at 12 he immigrated with his family to Paris, to begin a modeling career.


There Jimmy Jean-Louis studied at Academie International de Dance. By 1991 producers discovered him dancing at a French club and hired him for a Coca-Cola print advertisement, which was highly successful. This opportunity raised his modeling profile and enabled him to work with haute couture fashion designers, Gianfranco Ferré and Valentino.

He had come a long way, from his homeless days in Paris to dancing in videos with the likes of Mariah Carey, Seal, and George Michael. He continued dancing and acting in musical theater, and getting exposure in an erotic French TV program.

Jimmy Jean-Louis continued his acting career in Los Angeles, appearing in underground and Indy films, which prepared him for more high-profile vehicles with Hollywood heavyweights, such as Jean-Claude Van Damme in Derailed and Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. He nabbed a romantic leading-man part in Phat Girls, in 2006, opposite Oscar winner Monique Jackson, but his most successful project, which put him on the map, was in Heroes, as René, The Haitian, an NBC series.

Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake killed his parents and many of his relatives, collapsing the house where he was raised during his childhood. His not-for-profit Hollywood Unites for Haiti came together and provided disaster aid relief for Haiti survivors, whose homes had been demolished, and were now living on the streets of Port-au-Prince.

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