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Date of Birth: December 2, 1970

"I don't want to be stereotyped as the typical, so-called 'rap actor'. I'm looking to also play characters that aren't gangstas. I know I have a long way to go, but I'm sure I can do it." - Anthony Criss

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Criss found his future while still attending high school. Befriending two musical brothers, Vinnie and Kay Gee, the three formed a rap group, called Nasty by Nature, that would eventually take the U.S. by storm.

By 1991, the group broke into the big time with the smash hit 'O.P.P.' from their self-titled debut album. They soon followed up the success with another hit song 'Hip Hop Hooray' from their second album, released in 1993.

A year earlier, Criss had been given the opportunity to have a small walk-on role in the feature film, Juice (1992). About the experience Criss says, "It is like you can slip into a whole different mode. You are a different person. It is like a high. You are someone else and the way you get the high is by convincing people that you are that character. The whole acting thing is great. I love it."

He fell in love with acting so much, in fact, that he dedicated half of his time in the '90s playing minor roles in features such as The Meteor Man (1993), Jason's Lyric (1994), the television film First-Time Felon and a re-occurring guest role in the series Oz, playing Malcolm "Snake" Coyle.

Criss returned to rap work in the mid-'90s to complete his fourth album 'Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury', which was released in 1999. He then submerged himself in film work landing larger roles in films like Boricua's Bond (2000) and 3 A.M. (2001), followed by his first lead role in Love and a Bullet (2002) about an expert assassin whose next target is a woman he has fallen for.

Criss was married to fellow rapper, Sandra "Pepa" Denton from the famed group Salt-N-Pepa. They married in 1999 and have two children. The two divorced in 2001.


Empire (2002)
Face (2002)
Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel (2002)
Love and a Bullet (2002)
Book of Love (2002)
3 A.M. (2001)
Boricua's Bond (2000)
Jason's Lyric (1994)
The Meteor Man (1993)
Who's the Man? (1993) (uncredited)
Juice (1992) (uncredited)