Edward James Olmos
Known For: Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice, Mayans M.C., Dexter
Appearances | Sat, Sun
Edward James Olmos was born on February 24, 1947 in East Los Angeles, California.
Early in his teen years, Eddie found a new love – music. He taught himself to sing and play piano, and by 1961 he joined the band, the Pacific Ocean. Eddie attended East Los Angeles College and California State University by day and played in local clubs most of the night. He began taking acting classes to improve the show. “I started acting to become a better singer. Then the whole thing switched on me. I discovered that the spoken word is easier to project than the sung word.”
In 1978 during an audition for another play, he was asked if he would like to try out for Zoot Suit, a musical drama about the famous 1942 Sleepy Lagoon case in which a group of Hispanic youths were wrongly convicted of murder. Eddie dazzled them at the audition, speaking the part of the narrator in calo, a street jive dialect (a mix of English, Spanish, and Gypsy) from East L.A. and earned the role of El Pachuco, the strutting, posing, super macho narrator.
Zoot Suit opened in 1978 at the Mark Taper Theater and ran for a year before going to Broadway. By the time the show closed, Eddie had won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award, a Theatre World Award, and was nominated for a Tony Award.
In 1981 he made Wolfen with Albert Finney, and in 1982 he accepted the role of Gaff in Blade Runner with Harrison Ford. Then in 1984, he joined the cast of the ever-popular Miami Vice as Lieutenant Martin Castillo.
Other hit roles include Jess Gonzalez in American Family, Professor James Gellar in Dexter, Chucho Peña in Narcos, Robert Gonzalez in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Axford in The Green Hornet, and Admiral Adama in Battlestar Galactica which quickly became one of the most honored sci-fi shows of all time winning the Peabody Award and several Emmys.
Most recently Eddie voiced the character of Chicharron in the hit movie Coco and played the role of Felipe Reyes in the FX series Mayans M.C.