J.R. Martinez Bio
Actor, motivational speaker, veteran U.S. soldier and now winner of the latest Dancing with the Stars, Jose Rene Martinez (known as J.R.) has done it all and is an inspiration to many! Find out more about this amazing 28-year-old star in his Kidzworld bio!
Jose Rene Martinez, better known as “J.R.” started life in Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother Maria came from El Salvador, and he had two sisters who were raised with his mother’s family in her native land. Sadly his sister Anabel died before he could meet her. J.R. and his mother moved to Arkansas and eventually Georgia, where he focused on a career in football. Unfortunately an injury prevented him from pursuing his dreams on the field, and a year after graduating high school he enlisted with the United States Army.
J.R. trained in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003.Tragedy struck when J.R. hit a landmine while driving a humvee. His lungs filled with smoke and he suffered severe burns over 40% of his body. He was evacuated to Germany for emergency medical treatment, and then Texas where he underwent 33 surgeries to repair his face and body. It was here that J.R. first discovered that he had the gift of reaching people. Another burn victim who was recovering at the same time was in the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio had become withdrawn and reclusive when seeing his scars for the first time. J.R. was asked by a nurse to talk to the man, and after 45 minutes of sharing his story he realized he had already made a difference, and the patient was ready to open up. J.R. spoke to other patients in the ward, and so his motivational speaking career began. Since his recovery he has been asked by schools, corporations, non-profits, veteran's societies and news outlets to help others and share his story.
After inspiring people with his story around the country, J.R. was asked to turn his army experience into acting on the hit soap opera All My Children. J.R. played U.S. soldier Bret Monroe, harmed in action in Iraq, much like his own story. But that’s not where J.R.’s screen time ends. He was a contestant on the the 11th season of Dancing with the Stars. And lo and behold, he had one more talent up his sleeve! He and his partner Karina Smirnoff blew audiences away with their smooth moves and great personality on the dance floor, and were crowned the winners.
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