Esai Morales

Highest Rated: 96% La Bamba (1987)
Birthday: Oct 1, 1962
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
A New York-born actor of Puerto Rican descent whose performances in such efforts as La Bamba and Rapa Nui offered a lingering, devastating sense of depth, Esai Morales found success on screens both large and small. Frequently challenging stereotypes and always imbuing his characters with individuality, he was first inspired at the age of 12 by Al Pacino's searing performance in Dog Day Afternoon in 1975. Speaking only Spanish until the age of five, Morales showed talent in a series of stage roles in and around New York City. He graduated from New York's prestigious High School of the Performing Arts before appearing in productions at the Ensemble Theater Studio (El Hermano) and New York's Shakespeare Festival in the Park (The Tempest). In 1982, the actor made his screen debut in the Paul Morrissey film Forty Deuce. His role as Sean Penn's imposing nemesis in the following year's Bad Boys offered a horrific glimpse of the violence of juvenile detention facilities, and, in 1987, Morales cemented his reputation as a talent to watch when he played ill-fated rock & roll singer Ritchie Valens' brother in La Bamba. Equally adept at playing menacing tough guys or more sensitive characters, Morales eschewed stereotypes with roles as an Irish bootlegger in Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and an Argentine gangster in Naked Tango (1991). A memorable role as an Easter Island native involved in a painful civil war in 1994's Rapa Nui earned him rave reviews, despite going largely unseen, and the handsome actor was again impressive as a Mexican-American youth in My Family the following year. Morales also drew praise in 1997 for his top-billed role in The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, and after portraying the father of Cuban refugee Elian Gonzales in the made-for-TV feature A Family in Crisis: The Elian Gonzales Story, Morales stood out with an ALMA-nominated role as Lt. Tony Rodriguez in the enduring police drama NYPD Blue. He also appeared in such features as Paid in Full (2002) and Isla Bella (2004), and had a recurring role in PBS's eagerly anticipated Mexican-American-themed series American Family. In addition to his TV and film work, the self-described activist volunteers time to such organizations as the Earth Communications Office, the Wildlife Preservation Fund in Costa Rica, and the Health Education AIDS Liaison.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Wall of Mexico Actor 2019
No Score Yet Never Back Down: No Surrender Actor 2016
No Score Yet Casa Vita Rodrigo 2016
53% Spare Parts Mr. Santillan 2015
No Score Yet Playin' for Love Principal Jose Marti 2015
No Score Yet Jarhead 2: Field of Fire Cpt. Jones 2014
No Score Yet Teachers (Saving Westbrook High) Manny Cortez Executive Producer 2013
4% Atlas Shrugged: Part II Francisco d'Anconia $2.6M 2012
No Score Yet Seattle Superstorm Tom Reynolds 2012
63% Gun Hill Road Executive Producer Enrique $0.2M 2011
64% Cherry Wes $11.6K 2010
No Score Yet King of the Avenue The Devil 2010
No Score Yet Kill Kill Faster Faster Actor 2008
No Score Yet La Linea (The Line) Pelon 2008
No Score Yet Once upon a Wedding Pineda 2007
No Score Yet Beisbol: The Latin Game Actor 2007
50% Fast Food Nation Tony $1M 2006
No Score Yet How to Go Out on a Date in Queens Frankie 2006
No Score Yet The Virgin of Juarez Young Priest 2006
No Score Yet American Fusion Jose 2005
53% Paid in Full Lulu $3.1M 2002
No Score Yet The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina Vergas Mouse 2002
29% American Virgin Jim the Director 2000
No Score Yet Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman Actor 2000
No Score Yet Southern Cross Philip Solano 1999
No Score Yet Atomic Train Noris `Mac' MacKenzie 1999
80% The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit Dominguez 1998
No Score Yet The Real Thing Collin 1997
29% The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca Ricardo 1997
No Score Yet Scorpion Spring Astor 1996
No Score Yet Dog Watch Actor 1996
No Score Yet Dogwatch Murrow 1996
85% My Family Chucho 1995
No Score Yet Deadlock 2 Actor 1995
No Score Yet The Burning Season Jair 1994
No Score Yet Rapa Nui Make 1994
6% In the Army Now Sgt. Stern 1994
No Score Yet Don't Do It Charles 1994
No Score Yet Ultraviolet Nicholas Walker 1992
19% Freejack Ripper 1992
No Score Yet Naked Tango Zico 1991
No Score Yet A Climate For Killing Actor 1991
No Score Yet Amazon Actor 1990
No Score Yet Bloodhounds of Broadway Handsome Jack Maddigan 1989
50% The Principal Raymi 1987
96% La Bamba Bob Morales 1987
No Score Yet On Wings of Eagles Actor 1986
89% Bad Boys Paco 1982
No Score Yet The Great Love Experiment Actor 1982


No Score Yet NCIS: Los Angeles
NCIS Deputy Director Louis Ochoa
  • 2019
  • 2018
84% NYPD Blue
Lt. Tony Rodriguez
  • 2019
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
61% Mars
  • 2018
No Score Yet Chicago P.D.
Chief Lugo
  • 2017
25% Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
Mateo Cruz
  • 2017
70% Ozark
  • 2017
No Score Yet Blue Bloods
Sgt. Trey Delgado Trey Delgado
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
Malvado Lord Amancio Malvado
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
69% From Dusk Till Dawn
  • 2015
56% The Brink
Julian Navarro
  • 2015
No Score Yet Criminal Minds
Mateo Cruz
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Major Crimes
  • 2013
65% Magic City
Carlos Ruiz
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • 2012
57% Fairly Legal
Aaron Davidson
  • 2012
  • 2011
81% Caprica
Joseph Adama
  • 2011
  • 2010
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
Stephen Madsen
  • 2010
54% Jericho
Major Beck Beck Major Edward Beck
  • 2008
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
  • 2008
88% Burn Notice
Ernie Paseo
  • 2007
67% Vanished
Michael Tyner
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 1999
No Score Yet Freddie
  • 2005
No Score Yet The Ellen DeGeneres Show
  • 2004
No Score Yet George Lopez
  • 2002
No Score Yet American Experience
Voice Narrator
  • 2001
82% Tales from the Crypt
  • 1994
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
  • 1989
80% The Twilight Zone
  • 1989
No Score Yet Miami Vice
Pete Romano Mobster's Son
  • 1987
  • 1985