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Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, producer, and humanitarian. The Tony, Emmy, and Academy Award-nominated actor is likely best known to young audiences for his work on the SyFy television series Battlestar Galactica, as the iconic Admiral William Adama. Although the series kept the actor busy during its run from 2003 to 2009, it didn’t stop him from directing the HBO movie Walkout in 2007, for which he earned a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television.

Olmos’s career in entertainment spans more than 50 years. In that time, he created a signature style and aesthetic that he applies to every artistic endeavor, often grounding his characters in reality and gravitas. His dedication to his craft has brought him attention across the industry and with audiences worldwide.

Originally a musician, Olmos branched out into acting, appearing in many small theatre productions before portraying the iconic “El Pachuco” in Zoot Suit. The play moved to Broadway and Olmos earned a Tony nomination for the role, which he reprised in the 1981 film version.

Olmos went on to appear in the films Wolfen (1981), Blade Runner (1982), and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), before starring in one of his most memorable roles: Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the iconic ‘80s television series Miami Vice, opposite Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. During his time on the Michael Mann series, Olmos earned two Golden Globe and two Emmy Award nominations, resulting in a win from each.

In 1989, he was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver (1988). He directed and starred in his first motion picture, American Me, in 1992.

Olmos’s passion for the arts grows every year, but he never forgets to give back to the communities that support him. He is an international advocate, spokesman, and humanitarian working with organizations such as Thank You Ocean, Project HOPE, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the River Keepers, and Dr. Andros’ Diabetic Foot Global Conference and he speaks up to 150 times a year in schools, universities, and corporations.

Other credits as an actor include the motion pictures My Family/Mi Familia (1995); Selena (1997), which was a breakout film for Jennifer Lopez; and In the Time of the Butterflies, in which he played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. On television, he is currently bringing gravitas to FX’s Mayans M.C. He also enjoyed a recurring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roberto Mendoza on the NBC drama The West Wing, as a widowed father in the PBS drama American Family: Journey of Dreams, and on the series Dexter. Additionally, he directed the YouTube phenomenon The Short Film BP Doesn’t Want You to See, featured on CNN’s Larry King Live.

Between 2019 and 2020, Olmos’s film releases included Windows on the World, which he executive produced and starred in; Walking with Herb; and Monday Nights at Seven; and he produced, directed, and starred in the all-star cast of The Devil Has a Name.

Sunday, April 16
3:45 pm - 5:45 pm
Paying It Forward, WB 100
Discussion before
Hollywood Legion Theater