Alfred Molina (born 24 May 1953) is a British-born, naturalized American actor. He first came to public attention in the UK for his supporting role in the 1987 film Prick Up Your Ears. He is well known for his roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Spider-Man 2, Maverick, Species, Not Without My Daughter, Chocolat, Frida, Steamboy, The Hoax, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Da Vinci Code, Little Traitor, An Education and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He is currently starring as Detective Ricardo Morales on the NBC police/courtroom drama Law & Order: Los Angeles.
Molina was born Alfredo Molina in Paddington, London. His father, Esteban, was a Spaniard from Madrid who worked as a waiter and chauffeur, while his mother, Giovanna, was an Italian house-keeper who cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. Molina grew up in a working class neighbourhood in Notting Hill that was inhabited by many other immigrant families and was raised in Roman Catholic religion. He decided to become an actor after seeing Spartacus at the age of nine, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In 1978, Molina starred with Leonard Rossiter in the sitcom The Losers. Molina made his film debut with a minor role in the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark as Indiana Jones' ill-fated guide during its iconic opening sequence. However, his big break came with Letter to Brezhnev in 1985, which he followed up with a starring role in Prick Up Your Ears in 1987, playing Joe Orton's lover Kenneth Halliwell. He was originally cast as Arnold Rimmer in the TV sitcom Red Dwarf, however, he was replaced by Chris Barrie.