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Edward James Olmos          

Actor Known for His Roles in "Battlestar Galactica" & "Miami Vice"; Director & Latino Culture Advocate

Edward James Olmos is an American actor, director, producer, and activist. He is best known for his roles in Miami Vice, American Me, Battlestar Galactica and Blade Runner.

Olmos got his first big break in the stage production of "Zoot Suit" in 1978, which was a musical based in part on the famous zoot suit riots in Los Angeles in 1942. He later reprised his role in the 1981 film version. His film career steadily grew with supporting roles in a number of films, including Blade Runner (1982). He also explored opportunities on television with guest appearances on the series Hill Street Blues and joined the cast of "Miami Vice" in 1984. Olmos received Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his portrayal of Lieutenant Martin Castillo.

Throughout his career, Olmos has looked for projects he found meaningful and has been known to pass up roles he thought played on Latino stereotypes. In 1988, Olmos starred in the inspirational film Stand and Deliver, which follows the real-life story of teacher Jaime Escalante. Escalante taught math at a troubled Los Angeles high school and helped students once thought as "unteachable" to thrive.

Olmos received an Academy Award nomination for his work. Four years later, he directed, produced and starred in American Me (1992), a film that examines gangs and prison life. Olmos also directed Walkout (2006), a cable-television film based on the East Los Angeles student protests of 1968.

Olmos has returned to acting on television in recent years, playing Admiral William Adama on the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica, and a professor of the popular Showtime series Dexter (season 6) in 2011. In 2018, he played the father of a gang member in the FX series, Mayans MC.

For his work in Miami Vice, Olmos won the 1985 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. For his performance in Stand and Deliver, Olmos was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Outside of his work in film and on television, Olmos spends much of his time as an activist. He has supported numerous causes and has been an advocate for Latino culture, organizing film festivals and other special projects and events. Over the course of his career, Olmos has been a pioneer for more diversified roles and images of Hispanics in the U.S. media.


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