EDWARD JAMES OLMOS Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » edward james olmos


Name: Edward James Olmos                                                                     
Born: 24 February 1947 East Los Angeles, California, USA                                     
Other name: Eddie Olmos                                                                     
Edward James Olmos (born February 24, 1947) is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated           
American actor and director. Some of his most memorable roles were Gaff in Blade             
Runner, Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice, Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver             
and Admiral William Adama in the Battlestar Galactica re-imagined series. One of             
his popular character traits is that he rarely smiles.                                       
Olmos was born in East Los Angeles, California to a Southern Baptist Mexican                 
father with 1/4 Hungarian Jewish ancestry (the family name was originally Ólmos             
(pronounced: owlmosh)) and a Mexican American Catholic mother. He grew up                   
wanting to be a professional baseball player and became the Golden State batting             
champion. In his teen years, he turned to rock and roll, and became the lead                 
singer for a band he named Pacific Ocean, so-called because it was "the biggest             
thing on the West Coast". He graduated from Montebello High School in 1964.                 
While at Montebello High School, he lost a race for Student Body President to               
future California Democratic Party Chair Art Torres. For several years Pacific               
Ocean played various clubs in and around Los Angeles and released a record in               
1968. At the same time, he attended classes at East Los Angeles College and                 
California State University, Los Angeles, including courses in acting.                       
In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Olmos branched out from music into acting,           
appearing in many small productions, until his big break portraying the narrator,           
called "El Pachuco", in the play Zoot Suit, which dramatized the World War II-era           
rioting in California brought about by the tensions between Mexican-Americans               
and local police. (See Zoot Suit Riots.) The play moved to Broadway, and Olmos               
received a Tony award nomination for his portrayal as El Pachuco. He took the               
role to the filmed version in 1981. Other films that featured Olmos followed,               
including Wolfen, Blade Runner and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.                           
From 1984 to 1989, Olmos starred in his biggest role up to that date as the                 
authoritative police Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the television series Miami               
Vice opposite Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, for which he was awarded a             
Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1985. Returning to film, he received an Oscar                   
nomination for Best Actor for the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, portraying a                 
real-life math teacher, Jaime Escalante, who turned his students into math                   
whizzes, despite their disadvantaged backgrounds. He directed American Me in                 
1992, and starred in the multigenerational story of a Chicano family in My                   
Family/Mi Familia. In 1997 he played alongside Jennifer Lopez in the film Selena.           
He has often become involved in social issues, especially those affecting the               
Hispanic-American community in the United States. In 1998, he founded Latino                 
Public Broadcasting and currently serves as its Chairman. The Latino Public                 
Broadcasting funds programming for public television which focuses on issues                 
affecting Hispanic-Americans and advocates for diverse perspectives in public               
television. That same year, he starred in The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, a comedy             
that sought to break Latino stereotypes and transcend the normal stigmas of most             
Latino oriented movies. He also makes frequent appearances at                               
juvenile halls and detention centers to speak to teenagers at risk. He has also             
been an international ambassador for UNICEF. In 2001, he was arrested and spent             
20 days in prison for taking part in the Navy-Vieques protests against United               
States Navy target practice bombings of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.                 
He played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in the 2001 movie           
In the Time of the Butterflies. He also appeared as a recurring character                   
Justice Mendoza in the NBC drama The West Wing.                                             
He later starred as the recently widowed father in a Latin L.A.-family, in the               
PBS drama American Family: Journey of Dreams.                                               
Since 2003, he starred as Commander Adama in the Sci Fi Channel's reimagined                 
Battlestar Galactica miniseries and in the TV series that followed. He has also             
directed two episodes of the show, Season 1, Episode 9 Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down,             
and Season 3, Episode 13 Taking a Break from All Your Worries. In regards to his             
work on the show, he told CraveOnline, "I'm very grateful for the work that I've             
been able to do in my life but I can honestly tell you, this is the best usage               
of television I've ever been a part of to date."                                             
In 2006, he co-produced, directed, and played the bit part of Julian Nava in the             
HBO movie Walkout about the 1968 Chicano Blowouts. He also appeared in Snoop                 
Dogg's music video "Vato", featuring B-Real from Cypress Hill.                               
On January 5, 2007, he appeared on Puerto Rican Television to blame the Puerto               
Rican and United States Governments for not cleaning the Island of Vieques after             
the United States Navy stopped using the island for bombing practice.                       
He has also given $2300 to New Mexico governor Bill Richardson for his                       
Presidential campaign (the maximum amount for the primaries).                               
He guest-starred in the series finale of the ABC sitcom George Lopez, titled                 
George Decides to Sta-Local Where It's Familia as the new multi-millionare owner.