Edward James Olmos - Rotten Tomatoes

Edward James Olmos



Though most easily recognized as a respected actor of stage, screen, and television, Edward James Olmos is also a distinguished humanitarian who spends considerable time and money supporting various causes and charitable organizations in his native Los Angeles. Born the son of an immigrant and a Mexican-American mother, Olmos was raised in an ethnically diverse area of East Los Angeles. Although he was placed in his mother's custody at age seven following his parents' divorce, Olmos kept in close contact with his father. In his teens, Olmos was a rock musician and with his close friend Rusty Johnson formed the Pacific Ocean, a popular group at Sunset Strip area clubs during the late '60s. It was Johnson who suggested Olmos, who by his own admission was not much of a singer, that he try acting.



Olmos spent nine years trying to establish himself as an actor, making his film debut (billing himself as Eddie Olmos) as an extra in Aloha, Bobby and Rose in 1975. Prior to that, Olmos had worked as a bit player and extra in several early '70s television shows ranging from Medical Center to Hawaii Five-O. In 1979, he made a splash on Broadway playing Pachuco in Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit. The play was originally staged in L.A. and represented the first time in which Olmos was paid to act on-stage. During the show's New York run, Olmos earned a Tony Nomination and a Drama Critics Circle Award. In 1982, Olmos reprised the role in Valdez's film version. Early in his film career, Olmos showed a preference for socially conscious films and after his first screen appearance played a leading role in Robert M. Young's Alambrista (1977). In 1982, he played a creepy police detective in Blade Runner. That year, Olmos and Robert M. Young co-founded YOY productions to make socially conscious films such as their first joint effort The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982). Olmos became a star when he played the super-pragmatic Lieutenant Castillo on the hip police drama Miami Vice (1984-1989) and in 1985 won an Emmy for his efforts. He earned an Oscar nomination for his inspirational performance as a determined teacher who helps a troubled group of urban kids excel in math and science in Stand and Deliver (1986). Though his film career was sporadic during the '80s and '90s, Olmos continued to show up regularly in television movies. He made his feature film directorial bow in 1992 with the powerful American Me, a grim look at a reformed gangster's attempts to stay away from the violent, criminal ways of his old cohorts. Other notable 1990s efforts include the 1994 miniseries Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills and Gregory Nava's beautiful My Family/Mi Familia (1995). OImos would spend the coming years making successful runs on TV series like American Family, Battlestar Galactica, and Dexter.



Olmos' humanitarian activities include acting as a United States Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, being the national spokesman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, serving a place on the boards of the Miami and Los Angeles Children's Hospitals, serving as the executive director of the Hazard Education Project, and contributing to the foundation for the Advancement of Silence and Education. For his many good works, Olmos has received Honorary Doctorates from five educational institutions including the University of Colorado, California State University at Fresno, and the American Film Institute in Hollywood.

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Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
50% El Americano: The Movie
  • Executive Producer
  • Gayo
2015
No Score Yet Exile Nation: The Plastic People
  • Actor
2014
72% Go For Sisters
  • Freddy Suárez
  • Producer
2013
64% 2 Guns
  • Papi Greco
2013
45% Filly Brown
  • Executive Producer
  • Leandro
2013
No Score Yet Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Fatherhood 101
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Mitchell 20: Teacher Quality Is The Answer
  • Actor
2011
43% The Green Hornet
  • Axford
2011
53% I'm Still Here
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
  • Director
  • Commander William Adama
2009
No Score Yet Chicano Rock!: The Sounds of East Los Angeles
  • Actor
2009
41% Beverly Hills Chihuahua
  • El Diablo
2008
No Score Yet Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles
  • Host/Narrator
2008
No Score Yet Hispanic Hollywood - Then and Now
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Recycled Life
  • Actor
2006
43% Splinter
  • Capt. Garcia
2006
No Score Yet Walkout
  • Executive Producer
  • Julian Nava
  • Director
2006
No Score Yet Selena: Ones
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Battlestar Galactica
  • Cdr. Adama
2003
No Score Yet In the Time of the Butterflies
  • Gen. Trujillo
2003
No Score Yet Play Ball!: Basic Fielding
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Play Ball!: Basic Pitching
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Play Ball!: Official Rules & Regulations
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet The Princess and the Barrio Boy
  • Nestor Garcia
2001
No Score Yet Steve Martini's The Judge
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Steve Martini's 'The Judge'
  • Judge Armando Acosta
2001
No Score Yet Hispanic Hollywood
  • Actor
2000
48% The Road to El Dorado
  • Chief
2000
50% Triumph of the Spirit
  • Gypsy
2000
No Score Yet Champions Forever: Latin Legends
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Bonanno: A Godfather's Story (The Youngest Godfather)
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War
  • Narrator
1999
No Score Yet The Wall
  • Colonel Holst
1998
No Score Yet The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (TV)
  • Anthony Prescotti
1998
80% The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
  • Vamenos
1998
92% 12 Angry Men
  • Juror #11
1997
No Score Yet Hollywood Confidential
  • Stan Navarro
1997
64% Selena
  • Abraham Quintanilla Sr.
1997
29% The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca
  • Lozano
1997
75% Caught
  • Joe
1996
No Score Yet Larry McMurtry's 'Dead Man's Walk'
  • Capt. Salazar
1996
No Score Yet Mystic Lands
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet The Limbic Region
  • Det. Jon Lucca
1996
No Score Yet Slave of Dreams
  • Potiphar
1995
No Score Yet Mirage
  • Matt Juarez
1995
85% My Family
  • Paco, the Narrator
1995
No Score Yet The Burning Season
  • Penheiro
1994
No Score Yet A Million to Juan
  • Mr. Angel
1994
No Score Yet Roosters
  • Gallo Morales
1993
No Score Yet Story Porch With Edward James Olmos
  • Actor
1993
75% American Me
  • Director
  • Santana
  • Producer
1992
No Score Yet Maria's Story
  • Narration
1992
No Score Yet Talent for the Game
  • Virgil Sweet
1991
73% Stand and Deliver
  • Jaime Escalante
1988
No Score Yet Saving Grace
  • Ciolino
1986
87% Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika)
  • Mito (English)
1985
No Score Yet Miami Vice 2 - The Prodigal Son
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Faerie Tale Theatre - The Nightingale
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
  • Gregorio Cortez
1982
89% Blade Runner
  • Gaff
1982
100% Blade Runner (The Final Cut)
  • Gaff
1982
No Score Yet Zoot Suit
  • El Pachuco
1981
73% Wolfen
  • Eddie Holt
1981
No Score Yet Alambrista!
  • Drunk
1977
No Score Yet Aloha, Bobby and Rose
  • Actor
1975

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Battlestar Galactica
2005-2009
  • Adm. William Adama Cdr. William Adama Commander Adama
  • Director
No Score Yet The Batman
2004-2008
  • Voice
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
No Score Yet Eureka
2006-2012
  • Voice
No Score Yet George Lopez
2002-2007
  • Mr Vega Mr. Vega
No Score Yet American Experience
1988
  • Voice
No Score Yet CHiPs
1977-1983
  • Henry
No Score Yet Voces on PBS
2006-2015
  • Narrator
  • Host
No Score Yet CSI: NY
2004-2013
  • Luther Devarro
95% Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
2013
  • Robert Gonzales
80% Dexter
2006-2013
  • Prof. James Gellar
No Score Yet The West Wing
1999-2006
  • Roberto Mendoza Mendoza

Quotes from Edward James Olmos' Characters