Truly a "rags to riches" story, Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean-Louis grew up in the slums of Petion-Ville, Haiti until age 12, to become a Hollywood celebrity. His deep love for his homeland caused him to shift his focus from his acting career to help rebuild Haiti, ravaged by the 7.0 earthquake on January 12, 2010.
Earlier in his career, Jean-Louis worked as a dancer and a model in France, Spain, Italy, South Africa and England. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue acting. His credits include Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis, Phat Girlz with Mo'Nique, the NBC hit series Heroes, CW’s Arrow and CBS’ Extant with Oscar winner Halle Berry and produced by Steven Spielberg. Other notable roles include starring as the unexpected love interest in the award-winning Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro, directed by David O Russell. Currently, he is a series regular as a love interest and drug lord on the award-winning TNT dramedy Claws starring Niecy Nash.
His most important role to date is playing the title character in Toussaint Louverture, winning him Best Actor at the Pan African Film Festival. He was also nominated Best Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2012.
With an international appeal, Jean-Louis has worked in many parts of the world including France, England, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Mexico. He is fluent in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Creole.
Jean-Louis is also the founder and president of Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a non-profit organization (501c3) established in 2008 (www.haitianhero.comwww.hufh.org) whose mission is to help the underprivileged youth of Haiti.
Named Pan American Development Foundation's Ambassador for Haitian Children, he testified to Congress on their behalf in June 2010.
During Haitian Independence Month, January 2010, Jean-Louis was presented with the key to Miami-Dade County.