With a career spanning two-and-a-half decades, Basco is a Hollywood actor who has become a cult favorite as well as a pioneering figure in Asian-American cinema. He was first introduced as Rufio, the Leader of the Lost Boys, in Steven Spielberg’s Hook. He quickly jumped to leading roles in such movies as Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas and The Debut, which became the voice of a Filipino-American generation. Ever versatile, he is the voice of Jake Long in Disney’s animated series American Dragon: Jake Long, as well as Prince Zuko in Nickelodeon’s phenomenal hit Avatar: The Last Airbender.
A San Francisco native, Dante started out breakdancing with his three brothers at the age of 8, calling themselves The Street Freaks. Quickly they became one of the top Bay Area groups, opening for acts like Ice-T and Vanity and performing during half-time for the 49ers and between innings for the A’s.
He moved with his family to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s and, by 16, Basco was fencing against Dustin Hoffman and flying with Robin Williams in Hook. He found success on the small screen as well, appearing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and recurring roles on Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Moesha in the ’90s, then prominent spots on Nash Bridges, Touched by an Angel, and Providence in the early 2000s. More current work includes hit shows such as CSI: Miami, Entourage and Hawaii Five-0.
Basco founded one of the largest weekly poetry venues in the country, “Da Poetry Lounge,” in Los Angeles and his spoken-word art has been shared on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. He also writes and produces his own features with his production company Kinetic Films, including Hang Loose, a buddy comedy with YouTube sensation KevJumba, winning the 2012 Los Angeles Asian-Pacific Film Festival Special Jury Prizes for Best Actor and Best Newcomer respectively.