Edward James Olmos

Actor, Producer, Composer
Though widely recognized for his film and television career, actor Edward James Olmos also spent a great deal of time working for social and political causes, particularly as they have affected his native Latino ... Read more »
Born: 02/23/1947 in East Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (152)

La Cerca 2014 (Movie)

Old Niño (Actor)

Pioneers of Television 2014 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Untitled (Jim Loach Project) 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

2 Guns 2013 (Movie)

Papi Greco (Actor)

Filly Brown 2013 (Movie)

Leandro Chavez (Actor)

Go For Sisters 2013 (Movie)

Freddy Suarez (Actor)

Portlandia 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dexter 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Green Hornet 2011 (Movie)

Axford (Actor)

CSI: New York 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Scream 2009 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2009 Alma Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

A Class Apart 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Narrator

Battlestar Galactica 2005, 2007 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2008 (Movie)

Voice of El Diablo (Actor)

Discovery Atlas 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Batman 2004 - 2008 (TV Show)

Voice

George Lopez 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Splinter 2007 (Movie)

Captain Garcia (Actor)

2005 Black Movie Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Recycled Life 2005 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

American Family 2001 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Battlestar Galactica (Sci Fi) 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Battlestar Galactica: The Lowdown 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Greetings From Tucson 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hollywood Unites: An E! News Special 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

In the Time of the Butterflies 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Great Writers, Great Cities 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

Jack Palance: From Grit to Grace 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Miami Vice: The E! True Hollywood Story 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Pioneer Living 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Steve Martini's The Judge 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

13th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

5th Annual ALMA Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

68th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Gossip 2000 (Movie)

Detective Curtis (Actor)

Super Bowl XXXIV 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Americanos Concert 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Road to El Dorado 2000 (Movie)

of Chief (Voice)

The West Wing 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Bonanno: A Godfather's Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Storytime 1993 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 12th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 ALMA Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Story of Fathers & Sons 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

ALMA Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

California and the Dream Seekers 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

Latino Laugh Festival 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

Second Annual Latino Laugh Festival 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Sun, Salsa & Stars 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Magic School Bus 1994 - 1998 (TV Show)

Voice

The Taking of Pelham 123 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

True Stories From Touched By an Angel 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Gun 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

It Just Takes One 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Latino Laugh Festival 1995 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Prophecies of the Millennium 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Selena 1997 (Movie)

Abraham Quintanilla (Actor)

The 1996 Billboard Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 NCLR Bravo Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca 1997 (Movie)

Lozano (Actor)

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit 1997 (Movie)

Vamenos (Actor)

Caught 1996 (Movie)

Joe (Actor)

Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Mystic Lands 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Narrator

People Yearbook '95 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 53rd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

500 Nations 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Voice

Mirage 1995 (Movie)

Matteo Juarez (Actor)

My Family, Mi Familia 1995 (Movie)

Paco -- the Narrator (Actor)

Roosters 1995 (Movie)

Gallo Morales (Actor)

Screen Actors Guild Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The VIDA Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Million to Juan 1994 (Movie)

Mr Angel (Actor)

GED -- Get It! 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Good Cop... Bad Kid? 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Salvaged Lives 1994 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Burning Season 1994 (Movie)

Wilson Pinheiro (Actor)

Back to School '92 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Learning Not to Hurt 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Essence Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

To Be Free: The National Literacy Honors 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

American Me 1992 (Movie)

Santana (Actor)

Latin Legends 1992 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The 4th Annual Desi Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 64th Annual Academy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mexicans: Through Their Eyes 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

World Beat 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Quest For Education 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Narrator

Talent for the Game 1991 (Movie)

Virgil Sweet (Actor)

The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Frida Kahlo: Portrait of an Artist 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Narrator

Maria's Story 1990 (Movie)

over (Voice)

Starathon '90 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 16th Annual People's Choice Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 22nd Annual NAACP Image Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 47th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Music Center 25th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

A Day to Care For the Children 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Miami Vice 1984 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

New to America 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Triumph of the Spirit 1989 (Movie)

The Gypsy (Actor)

Mario Puzo's The Fortunate Pilgrim 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Stand and Deliver 1988 (Movie)

Jaime Escalante (Actor)

Saving Grace 1986 (Movie)

Ciolino (Actor)

Blade Runner 1982 (Movie)

Gaff (Actor)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez 1982 (Movie)

Gregorio Cortez (Actor)

Wolfen 1981 (Movie)

Eddie Holt (Actor)

Zoot Suit 1981 (Movie)

El Pachuco (Actor)

Virus 1979 (Movie)

Captain Lopez (Actor)

Alambrista! 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Aloha, Bobby And Rose 1975 (Movie)

1st Chicano (Actor)

12 Angry Men (TV Show)

Actor

Battlestar Galactica: Razor (TV Show)

Actor

CHiPs (TV Show)

Actor

Evening in Byzantium (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Confidential (TV Show)

Actor

Lives in Hazard (TV Show)

Narrator

Lost Warriors of the Clouds (TV Show)

Narrator

No Greater Calling (TV Show)

Actor

Seguin (TV Show)

Actor

Slave of Dreams (TV Show)

Actor

The Limbic Region (TV Show)

Actor

The Wall (TV Show)

Actor

The Wild West (TV Show)

Voice

Walkout (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (5)

Filly Brown 2013 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Go For Sisters 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

Americanos: Latino Life in the U.S. 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Producer

American Me 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez 1982 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)
Music (3)

Filly Brown 2013 (Movie)

("Hurt So Bad") (Song Performer)

Filly Brown 2013 (Movie)

("Hurt So Bad") (Song)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez 1982 (Movie)

music adaptation (Music)
Writer (1)

Triumph of the Spirit 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (1)

American Me 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

Though widely recognized for his film and television career, actor Edward James Olmos also spent a great deal of time working for social and political causes, particularly as they have affected his native Latino heritage. Though he struggled early on in his acting career, taking bit parts in various guest spots on popular television shows in the 1970s, Olmos made the most of his success once he found it. Starting with his Tony-nominated performance in "Zoot Suit" (1978), Olmos developed into a highly-acclaimed and sought-after performer whose ability to convey both ambiguity and gravitas was widely recognized. He became a household name with his first regular series role, playing Lieutenant Martin Castillo on the cultural phenomenon "Miami Vice" (NBC, 1984-89), but then languished for a large chunk of his career taking roles in largely unseen or under-appreciated feature and television projects. Occasionally, he reminded audiences of his unique talents with lauded performances in "Stand and Deliver" (1988) or "Selena" (1997), but largely remained waiting in the wings for his next significant role. It arrived in the unlikely form of Admiral William Adama on "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel, 2004-09), a show that Olmos felt was one of the best projects he had ever been involved with. His resurgence on television led to big screen roles in "Splinter" (2007), "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" (2008) and "The Green Hornet" (2011), proving that Olmos had staying power in both mediums.

Relationships

Lorraine Bracco Actor

Wife
Met in 1990 while co-starring in "Talent for the Game" (1991) Married Jan. 28, 1994 Bracco filed for divorce in January 2002 after five years of separation Divorced on March 4, 2002

Kaija Keel

Wife
Married 1971 Divorced 1992

Lymari Nadal Actor

Wife
Married 2002

Brandon Olmos Actor

Son
Adopted worked with his father on the film, "Walkout" (2006) as an Editor

Michael D. Olmos Actor

Son
Adopted directed father in his debut film "Splinter" (2006)

Pedro Olmos

Father
One of thirteen children started pharmaceutical business at age 14 held varies jobs after he crossed US-Mexico border in 1945 to marry Olmos's mother

Eleanor Olmos

Mother
Met Olmos's father during a visit to Mexico City in the days of WWII

Tamiko Olmos

Daughter
Adopted

Bodie Olmos

Son
Born in 1975 mother, Kaija Olmos

Mico Olmos

Son
Born in 1972 mother, Kaija Olmos

Peter Olmos

Brother
Older

Eleanor Olmos

Sister
Younger

EDUCATION

East Los Angeles College

Los Angeles , California 1964 - 1966

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California 1966 - 1968
Took courses in psychology, criminology, theater and dance

Milestones

2007

Co-starred in his son, Michael D. Olmos' directorial debut, the gangster film "Splinter"

2006

Co-produced, directed, and played the bit part of Julian Nava in the HBO movie "Walkout" about the 1968 Chicano Blowouts; earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America

2004

Reprised role of Admiral William Adama for the series, "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel)

2003

Cast as Admiral William Adama on the cult hit remake of "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci-fi channel)

2002

Starred as a recently widowed father in the PBS series "American Family"

2001

Played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in the movie "In the Time of the Butterflies"

1999

Had a recurring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Mendoza, in the NBC drama "The West Wing"

1997

Portrayed Abraham Quintanilla in Gregory Nava's "Selena" based on the true story of the Texas born tejano singer

1995

Starred in Gregory Nava's film, "My Family/Mi Familia" about three generations of a Mexican-American family

1994

Co-starred with Raul Julia in "The Burning Season," an HBO movie based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers

1994

Portrayed Jose Menendez, in the CBS TV movie "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills"

1992

Made directorial debut (also produced and starred) with "American Me"

1988

Portrayed real-life math teacher, Jaime Escalante in the film, "Stand and Deliver"; first film as co-producer; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor

1984

Breakthrough role as police Lieutenant Martin Castillo in Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" (NBC)

1983

Associate produced first film, "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" (also starred and composed and adapted music)

1981

Reprised his role in film version of "Zoot Suit"

1978

First major stage role as El Pachuco in musical "Zoot Suit" with the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; made Broadway debut when production transferred to Broadway (1979)

1975

Film debut in "Aloha, Bobby and Rose"

Appeared in experimental theater productions in Los Angeles

Began appearing on TV in early 1970s

Began entertainment career as founder and singer with rock band, Eddie James and the Pacific Ocean

Turned down five film offers and instead nearly bankrupted himself by traveling through the Southwest with a copy of "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez," renting theaters at his own expense to get audiences to see the film

Co-founded YOY Productions with director Robert M Young

Family moved from Los Angeles to Montebello, CA in the mid-1950s

Bonus Trivia

.

In August 2001, Olmos was sentenced to 20 days in a federal prison for trespassing on US Navy land on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. At the time, the actor was protesting the Navy's use of the island for war games.

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Reflecting on his early days while discussing his 1991 film, "American Me," Olmos noted, "It makes me cry and overwhelms and humbles me, what people have given at this point in my life. This is my life, my barrio. I've given my life and soul to it. I want to show that there's a cancer in this subculture of the gangs. They'll say, 'You've taken away our manhood with this movie.' I say to them, 'Either you treat the cancer or it'll eat you alive.'" - from The Los Angeles Times, Sept. 1, 1991

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Olmos speaks on average 150 times a year in schools, detention homes, juvenile halls, migrant work camps, prisons, and American Indian reservations.

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Producer-writer Floyd Mutrux, a friend of Olmos and a collaborator on "American Me," mused to The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 1, 1991): "Eddie is Eddie. We're friends. Good friends. But he gets those ideas, like, 'I could be governor of California, man. I'm the most visible Hispanic in America.' That's why he didn't like getting divorced. It put a kink in those plans. I tell him, 'Eddie, your picture is on the cover of Time magazine. But you know what? A week after it's out, the magazine is on the bottom of a bird cage.' Then we laugh. Hollywood's a bubble. The laughter is what brings us back to reality."

.

Steve Valdivia, executive director of Community Youth Gang Services in Los Angeles, recalled the December Season of Peace meeting in 1986: "We asked a number of the gangs, mostly Latino, not to kill each other from Thanksgiving to January 1st. Eddie Olmos was just someone we knew from 'Miami Vice.' But the grief, introspection and seriousness of his character was something we looked up to. He had a presence. A few days before the dinner, I got a crazy idea. I called the studio. They said he was in Miami. Five people later, I got Olmos. He said, 'What is this?' 'It's big,' I said. In 48 hours, he was on a plane. When he came into the dinner, there was a deadly silence. He hit 'em between the eyes. He gave himself as an example of how you can make it. We were all crying. At the end, the kids all sang 'Silent Night.' Olmos has a mission. It goes back to before he was born. The thing is, he does it from the heart. The heart does not lie." - from The Los Angeles Times, Sept. 1, 1991

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Olmos was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1992)

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