Esai Morales

Esai Morales

  • Highest Rated: 96% La Bamba (1987)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% Imprisoned (2019)
  • 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.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

0% Imprisoned Governor Mandera 2019
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
55% 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) Executive Producer Manny Cortez 2013
4% Atlas Shrugged: Part II Francisco d'Anconia $2.6M 2012
No Score Yet Seattle Superstorm Tom Reynolds 2012
65% 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
18% 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

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet NCIS: Los Angeles
2009
NCIS Deputy Director Louis Ochoa
  • 2019
  • 2018
84% NYPD Blue
1993-2005
Lt. Tony Rodriguez
  • 2019
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
61% Mars
2016
Appearing
  • 2018
No Score Yet Chicago P.D.
2014
Chief Lugo
  • 2017
25% Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
2016-2017
Mateo Cruz
  • 2017
73% Ozark
2017-2018
Del
  • 2017
No Score Yet Blue Bloods
2010
Sgt. Trey Delgado Trey Delgado
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
2014-2016
Malvado Lord Amancio Malvado
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
No Score Yet From Dusk Till Dawn
  • 2015
56% The Brink
2015
Julian Navarro
  • 2015
No Score Yet Criminal Minds
2005
Mateo Cruz
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Major Crimes
2012-2018
  • 2013
65% Magic City
2012-2013
Carlos Ruiz
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • 2012
57% Fairly Legal
2011-2012
Aaron Davidson
  • 2012
  • 2011
81% Caprica
2010
Joseph Adama
  • 2011
  • 2010
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
Stephen Madsen
  • 2010
54% Jericho
2006-2008
Major Beck Beck Major Edward Beck
  • 2008
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
Panelist
  • 2008
88% Burn Notice
2007-2013
Ernie Paseo
  • 2007
62% Vanished
2006
Michael Tyner
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 1999
6% Freddie
2005-2006
Carlos
  • 2005
No Score Yet The Ellen DeGeneres Show
2003
Guest
  • 2004
No Score Yet George Lopez
2002-2007
Manny
  • 2002
No Score Yet Resurrection Blvd.
2000-2002
Paco
  • 2002
  • 2001
No Score Yet American Experience
1988
Narrator Voice
  • 2001
No Score Yet Family Law
1999-2002
George Santiago
  • 2000
82% Tales from the Crypt
1989-1996
  • 1994
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • 1989
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
Jesse
  • 1989
No Score Yet Miami Vice
1984-1990
Pete Romano Mobster's Son
  • 1987
  • 1985
No Score Yet Fame
1982-1987
George
  • 1985

QUOTES FROM Esai Morales CHARACTERS

Francisco d'Anconia
"Check your premises!"
Francisco d'Anconia
Check your premises!