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Joaquim de Almeida is the Portuguese actor who portrays King Xavier on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Joaquim António Portugal Baptista de Almeida was born on March 15, 1957 in São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon[1] to Maria Sara Portugal and João Baptista de Almeida. At the age of eighteen, after attending the theater course at the Lisbon Conservatory School of Theatre and Cinema for two years, he left Portugal to continue his studies after the conservatory was temporarily closed following the 1974 democratic revolution. He spent a year in Vienna, moving again, in 1976, to New York City where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

After doing some theater, Almeida started his film career in 1982 appearing in The Soldier. His first significant role came in a 1983 film, The Honorary Consul, where he starred alongside Michael Caine, Richard Gere and Bob Hoskins, being his first appearance in an American film. Despite cameo appearances in television series such as Miami Vice, it was some years later that he made huge impact in his career, appearing in the Good Morning, Babylon, a film, directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, that opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. Being fluent in six languages, he continued his acting career in several countries such as England, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and Germany, working in numerous films.

He achieved international fame with his portrayals of Félix Cortez in the 1994 thriller Clear and Present Danger and Bucho in the 1995 action thriller Desperado. Several years later, he became popular for playing Ramon Salazar on the FOX thriller drama series 24, between 2003 and 2004, and Hernan Reyes in 2011 street racing film Fast Five.

Joaquim's multilingual skills have allowed him to work in several countries in Europe and the Americas, in many film and stage productions, winning some international awards in films like Retrato de Família, Adão e Eva and O Xangô de Baker Street. His other well-known films include Only You, La Cucaracha, One Man's Hero, Behind Enemy Lines, Whore, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, Che: Part Two and The Burning Plain.


"Archive" denotes archive footage.

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