Dante Basco might be best known for providing the voice of iconic Avatar character Prince Zuko, but you’ll probably recognize him from other movies, too.
He was the charismatic and mischievous Rufio of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 hit, Hook.
He was Spink Kick in Carmen Sandiego.
He was Jake Long in Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long. He’s also a director, filmmaker, and actor shining the spotlight on Filipino movies.
Whether you recognize Dante Basco for film, television, or video games, he’s been active in the industry for over 30 years and counting—and here’s what we know about him.
The Origin Story
Dante Roman Titus Basco was born on August 29, 1975, in Pittsburg, California.
He may be the most famous actor ever produced by the Contra Costa County city, which is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dante is the son of Filipino American parents.
His parents passed a tireless work ethic and drove down to all five of their children, including Basco’s four siblings—brothers Darion, Derek, and Dionysio, and sister Arianna.
All the Basco boys became actors, and their sister Arianna became a writer and producer.
Eldest brother Derek appeared in Six Days Seven Nights, The First Purge, and 2012’s Judd Apatow hit, This Is 40, with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.
He actually shares a birthday with Dante—both of them were born on August 29, but 5 years apart.
The Basco family’s second-born—Darion Basco—starred in The Debut in 2000, as well as The Brady Bunch Movie and Cesar Chavez.
Baby Brother Dionysio—known in the mainstream entertainment world as Dion Basco—has a lot of movie credits to his name.
Most well-known for playing Alberto “Al” Ramos on the NBC series City Guys, he also appeared in Biker Boyz, Race the Sun—alongside Halle Berry—and web series Pretty Dudes.
Dante is a proud uncle to Ella Jay Basco, the Korean Filipina teen actress who has risen to fame for her role as Cassandra Cain in the breakout film sensation, Birds of Prey. Ella Jay is the daughter of Derek Basco and his wife, producer Emily Cho.
The Basco family moved to Cerritos and then Paramount in the ’80s, and Dante joined the Street Freaks—a California breakdancing crew.
Dante knew he wanted to be an entertainer from a young age, and his parents enrolled him at Orange County High School of Arts to study music and theater. He graduated in 1993.
Dante lives in Los Angeles and is enjoying his bachelor lifestyle.
He owns a poetry venue—something he has long been passionate about. He fell in love with poetry back in the late ’80s after watching Dead Poets Society.
The film got him hooked on reading and writing poetry, and he credits late comedian Robin Williams as an inspiration to him—two years before the pair would work together on Hook.
Basco also enjoys poker.
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A Rising Star
Basco had played minor roles before he scored his big break in Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman’s 90’s classic, Hook.
The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and Basco’s character Rufio inspired a punk band a few years later.
Basco then guest-starred on some of the biggest television shows of the era—like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith, and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.
The Filipino American actor often ended up cast in roles that played another Asian ethnicity—but not his own.
To remedy this, he and his siblings teamed up for The Debut.
It was one of the first full-length films produced and written by Filipino Americans that starred Filipino Americans, and it inspired a whole generation of new actors.
The film cast Dante and all his brothers and received critical acclaim in the film industry.
Following on from The Debut, Dante and his brothers teamed up again for Naked Brown Men before Basco was cast in 1999’s But I’m a Cheerleader.
Antonio Banderas’s 2006 Take the Lead followed, as did a few commercials.
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A New Era
After being cast as the voice of Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender—which gained Basco a whole new generation of fans—he was also named as co-host for the Nickelodeon podcast Avatar: Braving the Elements.
The podcast, which Dante hosts with Janet Varney, launched in June of 2021 and dives into the Avatar universe.
Basco also celebrated his directorial debut in 2021 with The Fabulous Filipino Brothers.
He casts all his siblings in the movie, which he calls a family affair and “beautiful chaos.”
As a true millennial, Basco is also a big fan of video games—he live-streams on Twitch. ”Livestreaming is the newest iteration of social media to a degree,” Dante told Vox.
Dante Basco – Net Worth
Basco earned most of his wealth from performing in over 137 TV series, movies, and video games, including – Final Fantasy XIII, Community, Carmen Sandiego, This Life, American Dragon: Jake Long, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Legend of Aang, and more.
Therefore, voice actor Dante Basco has an estimated net worth of $1 million.
Want to get to know Dante Basco in his own words? Check out his Twitch interview here.
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