Juan Pablo Raba is a Colombian actor and model. He has garnered international fame for portraying Gustavo Gaviria in the 2015 Netflix series ‘Narcos’. Originally from Bogotá, Raba grew up in Spain. After receiving a baccalaureate degree, he began to pursue higher education in advertising. However, he soon realised that it was not meant for him. He subsequently dropped out and relocated to Argentina. He lived there for a while before coming back to his native country. After taking acting classes, Raba landed his first role in the TV series ‘Amor En Forma’. In 2001, he was cast in the telenovela ‘Viva la Pepa’ as Luis Ángel Perdomo. He made his film debut in 2007, in the Venezuelan comedy film ‘Una abuela virgen’. He was introduced to the audience beyond Latin America by ‘Narcos’ and has also appeared in TV shows like ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ and ‘Six,’ and films like ‘Shot Collar’ and ‘Peppermint’.
While Juan Pablo Raba was in Argentina, he worked as, among other things, a sailboat crew member. He eventually came back to Colombia and decided to try out modelling. For the next few years, he completely immersed himself into that world, taking part in numerous advertising campaigns and appearing in parades. As he became more comfortable in front of a camera, he began to consider acting as a possible career. He wanted to work for the Colombian TV channel Caracol. While that did not initially happen, he was told to study acting. Raba subsequently enrolled in Edgardo Roman’s acting class in Bogotá. He later attended the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York.
Encouraged by the positive feedback he received from Roman, Raba started auditioning for various roles. It was Caracol that cast him in his debut role. He played Eduardo in several episodes of ‘Amor en forma’ in 1998. A year later, he was cast as Isidrio in ‘Marido y mujer’. He made a guest appearance in an episode of the Colombian show ‘La reina de Queens’. During this period, he also got the opportunity to strengthen his résumé by appearing in a production of the play ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’, which is based on Gabriel García Márquez’s novel of the same name.
In 2001, he travelled to Venezuela to portray Luis Ángel Perdomo in the telenovela ‘Viva la Pepa’. He was subsequently cast in another Venezuelan telenovela, titled ‘La niña de mis ojos’. Both of these shows exposed him to a wider, international audience. From 2002 to 2007, he portrayed Orestes Villanueva Mercuri opposite Natalia Streignard’s Valentina in the Venezuelan telenovela ‘Mi gorda bella’. He also appeared in the short-lived telenovela ‘Estrambótica Anastasia’ in 2004, playing the love interest of the protagonist. In 2005, he made his way back to Colombia to work for Caracol once more. He was cast in their telenovela ‘Por amor a Gloria’. Raba portrayed Said Hashim in ‘The Clone’ (2010), Alejandro Botero in ‘Los caballeros las prefieren brutas’ (2010), and Gonzalo Rico in ‘Pobres Rico’ (2012).
In 2006, he was featured in the short film ‘Anillo de compromiso’. His cinematic debut came about a year later, in the Venezuelan comedy film ‘Una abuela virgen’. Raba became a true international star following his portrayal of Gustavo Gaviria, the cousin of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, in the first two seasons of Netflix’s ‘Narcos’. In 2015, he was cast as the inhuman Joey Gutierrez in the MCU tv show ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’. Between 2017 and 2018, he played Ricky "Buddha" Ortiz in History’s drama series, ‘Six’. In 2018, he appeared in Netflix’s Colombian series ‘Wild District’.
On the big screen, he has played the late Paraguayan footballer Darío Segovia in ‘The 33’ (2015), worked with filmmaker Ric Roman Waugh in ‘Shot Caller’ (2017), and shared screen space with Jennifer Garner in ‘Peppermint’ (2018).
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Family & Personal Life
Born on January 14, 1977, in Bogotá, Colombia, Raba is the son of Argentine businessman Ricardo Raba and art restorer and writer María Eugenia Vidal. Following his parents’ divorce, Raba relocated to Spain with his father and spent much of his childhood there.
He held several jobs as a youth, including waiting, bartending, disc jockeying, and managing a club. He earned his baccalaureate degree from a college in Spain and subsequently chose to study advertising. However, it soon became clear to him that this was not something he had any desire to do for the rest of his life. He left college after a year and went to his father’s native country.
In 2003, Raba became acquainted with journalist Paula Quinteros. They married later that year, on 6 December. The couple were together for three years before separating in 2006. In 2007, their divorce was finalised. Raba subsequently was in a relationship with Venezuelan soap star Marjorie de Sousa for over a year.
In early 2011, Raba began dating news anchor and model Mónica Fonseca. They exchanged wedding vows on August 8, 2011, in a private ceremony held in Miami, Florida, USA. The couple’s oldest child, a son whom they named Joaquín Raba Fonseca, was born on July 19, 2012. Their daughter, Josephine Joie Raba Fonseca, was born in 2018. He currently lives in Miami with his family.