Benicio del Toro had a Catalan paternal great-grandfather and a Basque maternal great-grandmother. He also has Italian and Spanish ancestry.
Del Toro was born on February 19, 1967, in San Germán, Puerto Rico, to Gustavo Adolfo del Toro Bermúdez and Fausta Genoveva Sánchez Rivera, who were both lawyers. Many of del Toro's relatives are involved in Puerto Rico's legal system. Del Toro's brother, Gustavo, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York.
Del Toro's mother died of hepatitis when he was 9 years old, and his family moved to a farm in Pennsylvania four years later. After his mother's death, Del Toro's father built a basketball court across the street from the family's home and the boy threw himself into the game. His godmother, Sarah Torres, assumed a very strong and influential role in the boy's life, acting as a mother figure.
On November 4, 2011, he acquired Spanish citizenship, along with fellow Puerto Rican Ricky Martin. The request was granted by the Spanish government due to his artistic talents and his Spanish ancestry (he has family in Barcelona).