Rico Rodriguez is an American actor who is best known for his performance as ‘Manny Delgado’ in the ‘Emmy’-winning ‘ABC’ sitcom ‘Modern Family.’ His sister motivated him to venture into acting. His first role was that of an ice-cream kid prankster in the sitcom ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ He made his debut on the big screen with the role of ‘Chanchito’ in the American comedy film ‘Epic Movie.’ Soon, he earned his big break in ‘Modern Family,’ a series for which he won a number of awards, such as the ‘Choice TV: Male Breakout Star’ award and the ‘Imagen Award’ for the ‘Best Young Actor – Television.’ His success in ‘Modern Family’ opened the doors to many more opportunities on TV. Thus, he appeared in the serials ‘Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil,’ ‘Good Luck Charlie,’ and ‘R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.’ Rico has established himself as a celebrity in his own right and has appeared as a guest judge on the reality cooking show ‘Chopped Junior.’ Recently, he lent his voice to the animated series ‘The Lion Guard’ and appeared as himself in ‘Nickelodeon’s ‘Ultimate Halloween Haunted House.’ His father died when he was 18 years old. This left a void in his life. However, he got over his difficulties and is now completely focused on his acting career.
Childhood & Early Life
Rico Rodriguez was born on July 31, 1998, in Bryan, Texas, US, to Diane and Roy Rodriguez. His father owned a tire shop called ‘Rodriguez Tire,’ and his mother was a homemaker. He has two brothers named Ray and Roy Jr. and a sister named Raini. His sister grew up to become an actor and singer. His family has its roots in Mexico.
Rico and his sister moved to Los Angeles with their mother in 2004, while his father managed their family business and looked after his brothers in Texas. His mother homeschooled him and his sister, while they pursued their careers as child artists with talent agent Susan Osser, who had spotted his sister. They enrolled in acting classes and appeared in commercials for brands such as ‘Walmart’ and ‘Dodge.’ In March 2017, his father suddenly passed away due to illness at the age of 52. This left a void in his life.
He was initially not interested in acting and had once stated that he would rather be “a NASCAR chef going to the moon.” However, he was soon motivated by his sister who appeared in the TV serial ‘Huff’ in 2006. He, too, bagged a minor role of an ice-cream kid prankster in 10 episodes of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ that ran from 2006 to 2007. Soon, Rico and his sister started getting noticed in the entertainment industry.
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Rico made his film debut in 2007, when he appeared as ‘Chanchito’ in the American comedy film ‘Epic Movie.’ He also appeared in the movie ‘Parker’ that year. The following year, he appeared in the series ‘My Name Is Earl’ and in the movie ‘Babysitters Beware.’
His earned his big break when he bagged a role in the American TV sitcom ‘Modern Family’ in 2009. The series featured him as ‘Manny Delgado.’ His performance in the series won him a number of awards, including the ‘Choice TV: Male Breakout Star’ award in 2010 and the ‘Imagen Award’ for the ‘Best Young Actor – Television’ in 2015.
He appeared as a kid janitor in the comedy movie ‘Opposite Day’ in 2009 and as ‘Jose’ in the biopic ‘Endgame’ in 2015. He lent his voice to the character ‘Cuco’ in the Mexican–American 3D animated film ‘El Americano: The Movie’ in 2016. He played himself in the musical comedy ‘The Muppets.’
After the success of ‘Modern Family,’ he bagged a lot of TV projects. Some of the most noteworthy serials that featured him were ‘Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil,’ ‘Good Luck Charlie,’ and ‘R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.’ Rico had established himself as a celebrity in his own right, although he was still in his teens. He appeared as a guest judge in the second season of the reality cooking competition ‘Chopped Junior’ in 2016.
Recently, he lent his voice to the animated series ‘The Lion Guard.’ He also appeared as himself in ‘Nickelodeon’s ‘Ultimate Halloween Haunted House’ and in the TV game show ‘Double Dare.’
Rico is active on social media and has a large fan base on both ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram.’ He has established himself as a teenage sensation with exceptional acting skills.
Some of his major films are ‘Epic Movie’ (2007), ‘Parker’ (2007), ‘Babysitters Beware’ (2008), ‘Opposite Day’ (2009), ‘The Muppets’ (2011), ‘Endgame’ (2015), and ‘El Americano: The Movie’ (2016).
He has appeared in the TV shows ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ (2006–2007), ‘My Name is Earl’ (2008), ‘Modern Family’ (2009–present), ‘Good Luck Charlie’ (2011), ‘Sesame Street’ (2012), ‘Austin & Ally’ (2015), ‘Chopped Junior’ (2016), and ‘Double Dare’ (2018).
He wrote the book ‘Reel Life Lessons... So Far,’ published in 2012.
Awards & Achievements
His performance in the sitcom ‘Modern Family’ has won him a number of awards, such as the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series’ five times, the ‘ALMA Award’ for ‘Favorite TV Actor-Supporting Role in a Comedy’ twice, the ‘Young Artist Award’ for ‘Outstanding Young Performers in a TV Series,’ and the ‘Imagen Award’ for the ‘Best Young Actor – Television.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Rico belongs to a humble background and is close to his family. He has a special bond with his sister who is also part of show business. He admired his father for his hard work and was deeply affected by his sudden death. Although he has a lot of admirers, he has not been in a serious relationship with anyone yet.
He has worked with actor Ariel Winter in the movie ‘Opposite Day’ and in the sitcom ‘Modern Family’.
He was working on the sets of ‘Modern Family’ when his father passed away. He was 18 years old at that time.