Edward James Olmos
Actor, Producer, Humanitarian
EDWARD JAMES OLMOS has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, producer and humanitarian. The Tony, Emmy and Academy Award® Nominated actor is probably best known to young audiences for his work on the SYFY television series Battlestar Galatica as Admiral William Adama. Although the series kept the actor busy during its run from 2003 through 2009, it didn’t stop him from directing the HBO movie Walkout in 2007, for which he earned a DGA Nomination in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television category.
Olmos’ career in entertainment spans over 30 years. In that time he created a signature style and aesthetic that he applies to every artist 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 until portraying the iconic El Pachuco in Zoot Suit. The play moved to Broadway and Olmos earned a Tony nomination for the role, which he revised in the 1981 film version.
Olmos went on to appear in the films Wolfen, Blade Runner, and the Ballad of Gregorio Cortez before starring in his biggest role to date, that of Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the iconic 80’s 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 Emmy Award nominations, resulting in a win from each.
In 1988, the actor was nominated for an Academy Award® and won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver. He directed and starred in his first motion picture, American Me, in 1992.
Olmos’ passion for the arts grows every year, but he never forgets to give back to the communities that support him with their dedication and support. He is an international advocate, spokesman, and humanitarian working with organizations such as Thank You Ocean, Project Hope Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, The River Keepers, 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; Selena, which was a breakout film for Jennifer Lopez; and In the Time of Butterflies, in which he played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. In television, he enjoyed a recurring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roberto Mendoza in the NBC drama The West Wing, portrayed a widowed father in the PBS drama American Family: Journey of Dreams, and recently directed the YouTube phenomenon The Short Film BP Doesn’t Want You To See, featured on Larry King/CNN.
Session: Luncheon: We're All in the Same Gang