Edward James Olmos
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.