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Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos (born February 24, 1947) is an American actor. Born in East Los Angeles, California, he grew up wanting to be a professional baseball player. In his teen years, he turned to rock and roll, and for several years played various clubs in and around Los Angeles. He branched out into acting, appearing in many small productions, until he finally got his big break by portraying the narrator, called "El Pachuco", in the play Zoot Suit, which dramatized the World War II-era rioting brought about by the tensions between Mexican-Americans and the police in Southern California. He took the role to the movies in 1981, but before that, he had roles in such films as Wolfen, Blade Runner and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.

In 1984, Olmos starred as the authoritative police lieutenant in the television series Miami Vice. The role made him well-known. Returning to film, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, portraying a real-life mathematics teacher who turned his students into math whizzes, despite their disadvantaged backgrounds. He directed American Me in 1992, and starred in the multigeneratinal story of a Chicano family in Mi Famila (My Family) in 1995.

Olmos has often become involved in political activism. He makes frequent appearances at juvenile halls and detention centers to speak to teenagers at risk. He has also been an international ambassador for UNICEF. In 2001, he was arrested and spent 20 days in prison for taking part in demonstrations against United States Navy bombings of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Olmos is married to actress Lorraine Bracco. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.