Early Life & Career
Bratt was born on December 16, 1963 in San Francisco, California. As a child, Bratt went with his mother and siblings to participate in the 1969 Native American occupation of Alcatraz. Today, Bratt is an active supporter of such Native American causes as the American Indian College Fund and We Shall Remain, a mini-series and multi-media project, narrated by Bratt, that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history from PBS' acclaimed series American Experience. His brother, Peter Bratt, wrote and directed the 1996 film Follow Me Home, casting Benjamin as Abel. In 2009, Peter wrote and directed the independent film La Mission also starring Benjamin as Che Rivera, an inhabitant of the Mission District. Bratt has for years been a strong supporter and board member of San Francisco Bay Area's Friendship House Association of American Indians and Native American Health Center. He attended Lowell High School in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Lowell Forensic Society. Bratt earned a B.F.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Although accepted into the M.F.A. program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, he left before receiving his degree to star in the television series Juarez.
In 1999, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the series. His more popular films include Miss Congeniality, Blood In Blood Out and Traffic. On June 23, 2009, Bratt appeared on The View to promote The Cleaner. On October 23, 2009, it was announced that Bratt will return as Detective Curtis on Law & Order. Curtis reunited with his former boss, Lt. Anita van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), which aired on December 11, 2009. He left the show that same year to continue his film career. In 2009, Bratt performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. In 2012, Bratt was passionate about his opportunity to play a Tlicho Indian in the film The Lesser Blessed, a project dear to his heart because of his own Native background.