Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ramirez was encouraged by his mother to study acting, and soon enough he started training at the Theater of Arts and performing in local venues. He first appeared on the big screen at age 13, with a small role in the 1995's Pauly Shore vehicle, "Jury Duty." He followed that with a supporting part in the Shaquile O'Neal's "Kazaam" in 1996. While continuing to train and perform in Los Angeles theater and improv companies, Ramirez also began appearing on television. He showed up in bit parts on "Relativity," on the television version of "Dangerous Minds," and on "Nothing Sacred," all on ABC. Big screen parts continued to come his way, and he landed gigs in small movies such as "Melting Pot" (1997) and "King Cobra" (1999) as well as "Missing Pieces" and "Rave" (2000). He went on to play a recurring role of Amaad Wilkens in two episodes of Fox's "Boston Public," and appeared in two episodes of "The Even Stevens" on the Disney Channel. He also appeared on NBC's "ER," as well as "The District" and "Judging Amy," both on CBS. But it was as the quiet Pedro, unlikely but loyal friend of Jon Heder's title character in "Napoleon Dynamite" that made Ramirez a star. The story goes that Ramirez was also offered a part in the big budget historical epic, "The Alamo," and was conflicted on which project to choose. It was his father who urged him to follow his heart and take the role in the smaller, offbeat indie comedy. The instinct paid off, as "Napoleon" went on to both acclaim and financial success, while the bigger movie proved a bomb at the box office. Ramirez pitched in with his brothers to buy their father a house afterward, as the refrain "Vote for Pedro!" became a pop culture catchphrase echoing through schools across the country. Ramirez was set to appear next in "Rumble" and "Walkout" (both lensing in 2005). An avid music lover, Ramirez composed the score to the 2003 independent film "Nines," and also performs as a DJ with Nocturnal Rampage, which specializes in techno and house music.