About Edward James Olmos

Award-Winning Hispanic American Actor, Producer, and Civic Activist.

Known as the "Olivier of the Latino world," Edward James Olmos is an individual flowing with talent and creativity. The multi-talented actor, producer, director, and community activist was born and raised in East Los Angeles and spent many years in theatrical roles until his mesmerizing performance in the musical play Zoot Suit, which led to a Tony Award nomination. He later recreated the role for film and went on to star in such films as Wolfen and Blade Runner. He then scored a personal success with his role as a Mexican cowboy in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, directed by Robert M. Young, who also directed Olmos in Saving Grace, Triumph of the Spirit, Talent for the Game, and Caught. Olmos recently starred as Jess Gonzalez, a Korean War veteran, on the PBS show American Family, but can now be seen as Commander Adama on the Sci-Fi Channel series Battlestar Galactica. He recently directed the HBO film Walkout, based on a true story about a young activist who decides in 1968 to stage a walkout of 10,000 Latino students from five East Los Angeles high schools in protest of educational conditions and complaints of anti-Mexican educational bias.

In April 1999, Olmos launched a nationwide multimedia project called Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a celebration of Latino culture through photography, film, music, and the printed word. The project is co-sponsored by Time Warner Inc., and is designed to inspire Latino pride and to build bridges among Latinos and others. Americanos includes a five-year traveling photography exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution; a music CD featuring Latino artists; a documentary to air on HBO; and a book of essays, photos, and commentary by today's most notable figures in the Hispanic community co-edited by Olmos.

In 1997, Olmos starred as Abraham Quintanilla in the much-anticipated Warner Bros. feature film release of Selena. He also starred in the acclaimed film 12 Angry Men for Showtime television, directed by William Friedkin. –In 1996, he starred in the ABC miniseries Dead Man's Walk, which was the prequel to Lonesome Dove. He also completed the movie The Limbic Region, and starred in the critically acclaimed Sony Pictures Classic thriller Caught.

Edward James Olmos spoke at 8:00pm on Monday, October 2, 2006, at the LBJ Student Center Mall (between the Library and LBJ Student Center):

Photo by Monty Marion / Star photo.