Actor, producer, director and community activist Edward James Olmos was born and raised in East Los Angeles. A veteran of the theater, he earned a Tony nomination for his mesmerizing performance in the 1978 drama/musical Zoot Suit. He reprised the role for a feature film in 1981, and went on that year to star in Wolfen. He followed these performances with pivotal roles in Ridley Scott’s landmark Blade Runner and Robert M. Young’s acclaimed The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Olmos’ feature film credits also include Selena, Mi Familia/My Family and American Me, which he also directed. His extensive television work includes HBO’s The Burning Season, Showtime’s In the Time of Butterflies, the ABC miniseries Dead Man’s Walk and the documentary The Unfinished Journey, directed by Steven Spielberg. Most recently, Olmos starred for two seasons in the acclaimed PBS series American Family.
Throughout his extensive career, Olmos has received numerous accolades, including an LA Drama Circle Award, an Emmy (in addition to three nominations) and two Golden Globe Awards. In 1988, he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante, the dedicated, real-life math teacher in Stand and Deliver, which he also produced. Most recently, he was awarded the PASS award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for producing the domestic-violence documentary It Ain’t Love.
Olmos is currently a United States Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. He is also a national spokesperson for the following organizations: Southwest Voter Registration Project, where he helps the Latino Community in its pursuit of citizenship and voter registration; the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation; and the AIDS Awareness Foundation. He also serves on the boards of Recruiting New Teachers, the Twentieth Century Fund, UCLA School of Film and Theater, UCLA Mentoring Program, Miami Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, National Council on Adoption, Children’s Action Network, Hollywood Supports and OneNetNow.com.
Prior to the start of filming season two of Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos received a 2004 Latin Business Spirit Award, a 2004 Image Award, a 2004 Hugo Award for Best Actor on Battlestar Galactica, a 2004 Family Television Award and was nominated for a SYFY Genre Award for Best Actor on Battlestar Galactica. He then went on to direct the HBO Film, “Walkout” in 2005, which earned him an Alma Award for Best Director.
He was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award in Education and Latino Literary at the Inaugural of the National Council of Space Directors, where it was also announced that the council had formed the Edward James Olmos Latino Literacy Scholarship Fund. In addition, he presented the 2nd annual Edward James Olmos Award for Advocacy in Amputation Prevention.