Despite a last name that's a telltale sign of his Italian background, Noel Gugliemi has almost always been cast for his Latino heritage (on his mother's side). Growing up in Southern California, he was exposed to both the ups and downs of the region's inner-city Hispanic culture, as well as the local improv scene. These disparate experiences came in handy when he auditioned for various urban-oriented films and TV shows. In 2001, he was featured in the corrupt-cop drama "Training Day" and the surprise hit action movie "The Fast and the Furious." Involvement in these high-profile projects didn't translate into bigger parts, but they did keep him employed by other major productions, albeit in bit roles. After a featured turn in the Los Angeles-centric crime drama "Street Kings" (2008), Gugliemi appeared on one of the earliest episodes of "The Walking Dead" as a member of a Latino gang struggling to survive the show's zombie outbreak. A short turn in "The Dark Knight Rises" marked his biggest production yet, with most of his subsequent roles in considerably smaller films, including the low-budget drug-mule movie "The Devil's in the Details," starring his occasional collaborator Emilio Rivera. In his spare time, Gugliemi speaks to at-risk youth about the dangers of taking up the gang lifestyle that he often portrays on screen.
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