Edward James Olmos
Date of Birth: February 24, 1947
Stage, films and TV, this mustachioed, gaunt-faced, rugged-looked Los Angeles native has done it all with style and grace. The son of a Mexican born welder, Olmos grew up in rough patch of LA known as the Boyle's Heights barrio. But rather than getting ensnared in the area's endemic -- and addictive -- problems, Olmos directed his energies into playing semi-pro baseball and music.
To help pay his way through East Los Angeles College and California State University (and, of course, to have fun) Olmos put together a rock band called Eddie James and the Pacific Ocean that played local gigs. After University, Olmos hooked up with the Lee Strasburg Institute for further dramatic studies and began landing small parts on such TV fare as Kojak and Hawaii Five-O -- you can bet he wasn't cast as the good guy.
Olmos' big break arrived in the form of a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Tony nomination for his performance in the musical play Zoot Suit. An Oscar nomination followed for his portrayal of a math teacher trying to reach out to his students in Stand and Deliver.
Larry McMurty's Dead Man's Walk (1996)
The Limbic Region (1996)
My Family/Mi Familia (1995)
A Million to Juan (1994)
The Burning Season (1994)
My Family (1994)
American Me (1992)
Talent for the Game (1991)
Triumph of the Spirit (1989)
Stand and Deliver (1988)
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
Zoot Suit (1981)
Aloha, Bobby and Rose (1974)