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Tony Plana        

Actor & Director Known for "Ugly Betty;" Supporter of Comprehensive Immigration Reform; Advocate for Alzheimer's Disease

José Antonio Plana, better known as Tony Plana, is a Cuban-American actor and director. He is known for having played Betty Suarez's father, Ignacio Suarez, on the ABC television show "Ugly Betty" and for voicing Manuel "Manny" Calavera in the video game "Grim Fandango."

While he is known to a broad audience for his roles in feature films and television, Plana is also known for his skills in acting and directing for the stage. He has created and directed a number of productions of the works of Shakespeare for minority audiences and he has been active in both the Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City theater communities, including leading appearances on Broadway and at New York City's Public Theater. He originated the role of Rudy in the L.A. production of the Luis Valdez play "Zoot Suit," going on to play Rudy in the film version as well.

Plana has acted, directed and written for television in series, mini-series, and specials such as "Hill Street Blues," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Resurrection Boulevard," "Commander in Chief," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The West Wing," "24," and "Cagney & Lacey."

Plana has acted in films such as An Officer and a Gentleman, Three Amigos, Goal!, Lone Star, and others. In 2011, Plana guest-starred in "Desperate Housewives" as Gabrielle Solis's abusive stepfather, Alejandro Perez. He also directed "Witch's Lament," a "Desperate Housewives" episode in the show's eighth season. In 2011, he appeared in "Body of Proof" in the episode "Helping Hand."

Plana, during his acting career, participated in the web series "Los Americans," which is characterized by having a multigenerational outlook and focusing a middle-class family living in Los Angeles.

Plana teaches acting at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Rio Hondo College. In 2012, he served as an official judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival.

Plana, who was born in Havana, Cuba, is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and was trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Plana is an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. He is also an advocate for Alzheimer's disease awareness and prevention. His mother, Conchita, a former banker, suffers from the heartbreaking disease.

Speech Topics

Latino Today

My Journey from Cuba to My Life as an Actor

Alzheimer's Disease

Finding Help and Hope

Teaching Our Teachers

The Power of Theater in the Classroom


'Ugly Betty' Reunion: America Ferrera Pitches Possible Hulu Revival ...
The cast of "Ugly Betty" reunited Saturday night at the ATX Television Festival -- and they pitched another possible reunion.
Colony adds Ugly Betty, Black Sails stars for season 2 |
Tony Plana and Jessica Parker Kennedy have joined the cast of Colony in season 2, EW has learned exclusively. Ugly Betty's Plana will play Proxy Alcala, the ...
Picture - Tony Plana at Pasadena Civic Auditorium | Photo 3884142 ...
A picture of Tony Plana at Pasadena Civic Auditorium - The 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards Press Room - Contactmusic photo 3884142.

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