Luis Valdez

Director, Playwright, Screenwriter
Born to parents of Mexican descent, Luis Valdez spent his childhood as a migrant farm worker. After graduating from San Jose State College he spent a year with the San Francisco Mime Troupe which culminated in a ... Read more »
Born: 06/26/1940 in Delano, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (10)

The Mexican Americans 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mexican Americans 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848) 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Voice

Mi Otro Yo: My Other Self 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Voice

The Journey of Carlos Fuentes: Crossing Borders 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Narrator

Corridos! Tales of Passion and Revolution 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Rivera in America 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Narrator

Which Way Is Up? 1977 (Movie)

Ramon Juarez (Actor)

Rivera in America (TV Show)

Narrator
Director (5)

Fort Figueroa 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

La Bamba 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Zoot Suit 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

La Pastorela (TV Show)

Director

The Cisco Kid (TV Show)

Director
Writer (3)

La Bamba 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Zoot Suit 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Zoot Suit 1981 (Movie)

("Zoot Suit") (Play as Source Material)
Other (1)

Myth of the Maya: Popol Vuh 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Other

Biography

Born to parents of Mexican descent, Luis Valdez spent his childhood as a migrant farm worker. After graduating from San Jose State College he spent a year with the San Francisco Mime Troupe which culminated in a cultural exchange trip to Cuba. Upon his return to the US, Valdez returned to his hometown of Delano and joined Cesar Chavez's United Farmworkers. There he formed a workers' theatre company, "El Teatro Campesino," which developed original material in the form of short agitprop skits called "actos." "El Teatro Campesino" also produced several short films of their plays.

Relationships

Armeda Valdez

Mother

Anahuac Valdez

Son

Kinan Valdez

Son

Lakin Valdez

Son

Guadalupe Valdez

Wife
married on August 23, 1969

Francisco Valdez

Father

EDUCATION

San Jose State University

San Jose, California 1964
his play, "The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa" was produced there in 1964

Milestones

1987

TV directing debut, "Corridos! Tales of Passion and Revolution" (also actor and writer)

1981

Film directing debut, "Zoot Suit" (also writer)

1979

Broadway directing and writing debut, "Zoot Suit" (transferred from Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, 1978)

1977

Wrote first screenplay and made film acting debut, "Which Way Is Up?"

1966

Off-Broadway directing and writing debut, "La Carpa de los Rasquachis"

1965

Founded El Teatro Campesino (also artistic director and actor); toured US and Europe with company

1964

First play produced, "The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa"

Bonus Trivia

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Founding member of the California Arts Council.

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He is a lecturer in Chicano history and theatre, University of California in Santa Cruz.

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He is also a lecturer in theatre arts at the University of California in Berkeley.

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He was awarded a honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College in Chicago.

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Valdez has received the Rockefeller Foundation Grant (1977)

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Valdez is a board of directors member to the Theatre Communications Group.

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Writer, Actor and Director of the United Farmworkers Organizing Committee.

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