February 24, 1947: Edward James Olmos
Los Angeles, California
Way back when I was in 5th or 6th grade, I had to write a report on a famous person. I chose Edward James Olmos. I’m not really sure why, I was probably influenced by Stand and Deliver* and wanted to know more about one of the few Chicanos I saw in mainstream entertainment. I learned that his father (or grandfather, can’t remember) printed a newspaper and fled Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. I also learned about his roles in movies, television shows and plays I’d never even heard of, like Zoot Suit
Of course, his roles have varied. Via Wikipedia:
Among his most memorable roles are Commander/Admiral William Adama in the Battlestar Galactica re-imagined series, Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice, teacher Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, patriarch Abraham Quintanilla in the film Selena, Detective Gaff in Blade Runner, and narrator El Pachuco in both the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit.
Do you have a favorite Olmos role/scene? One of my favorites comes from Selena:
*I just recently learned that my sister, a math major and aspiring math teacher, has not seen Stand and Deliver. What’s worse is that we have a few cousins who took calculus with Jaime Escalante! I felt like I failed my sister the day I learned that.