photo by Timothy Rosado
Rafael V. DeLeon who will be seen playing ‘Manny Garciela,’ in the Netflix & Spike Lee remake of “She’s Gotta Have It,” which premieres Thanksgiving day.
DeLeon will star alongside DeWanda Wise (“Underground,” “Shots Fired”), Cleo Anthony (“Transparent,” “Extant”) and Anthony Ramos (“Hamilton,” “Will & Grace”) as ‘Manny Garciela,’ best friend of Mars Blackmon (played by Ramos). The show, a revival of the 1986 film that launched Lee’s career, follows ‘Nola Darling’ (Wise) as she navigates life, three relationships and dating in 2017.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Rafael has always been one to follow his dreams, some of which didn’t always include pursuing television and film. As a kid he grew up playing sports. After a year of playing Division II basketball at Averett University, he decided to take his talents to the highest competitive level. After being accepted at Temple University (studying business administration and marketing), and while there earned his Bachelor’s Degree while playing on the men’s basketball team as a walk-on for three years, earning a scholarship his last year. Post-graduation, DeLeon landed a job in politics working for the mayor of D.C. in the Executive Office of Boards & Commissions.
DeLeon has also appeared in award-winning television shows such as “House of Cards” (Netflix), “The Americans” (FX) and “The Breaks (VH1).” When not acting, Rafael has no trouble keeping busy. He enjoys playing chess, day trading and reading self-help books. He also loves sports, especially basketball and football, and nerding out over a good documentary or cult classic. On the charity front, Rafael is passionate about lending his time to give back to those who remind him of himself by teaching them skills to better their lives. He also works closely with the Make A Play organization, which provides a place for New York City youth to participate in comprehensive academic and athletic programs. Rafael currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he looks forward to getting his morning coffee each day at the local bodega.