Edward James Olmos is an American actor best known for his television roles of Commander William Adama on the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, as Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice, and as Montoya Santana in the 1992 movie American Me, which he also directed.
Actor, producer, director and community activist Edward James Olmos was born and raised in East Los Angeles.
A veteran of the theatre, he earned a Tony nomination for his mesmerizing performance in the 1978 dramatic musical Zoot Suit. He reprised the role for a feature film in 1981 and went on that year to star in Wolfen.
He followed that performance with pivotal roles in Ridley Scott's landmark Blade Runner and Robert M. Young's acclaimed The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.
His feature film credits also include Selena, Mi Familia/My Family and American Me, which he also directed.
Olmos's extensive television work includes Showtime's acclaimed The Burning Season and In the Time of Butterflies, the ABC miniseries Dead Man's Walk, and the documentary The Unfinished Journey, directed by Steven Spielberg.
Olmos starred for two seasons on the Emmy-nominated 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.
He was also 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, and Hollywood Supports.
In 2007, Olmos won two Alma Awards: for Outstanding Actor on a Television Series (Battlestar Galactica) and for Outstanding Direction in a Television Movie (Walkout).
In 2006, Battlestar Galactica was the proud recipient of a Peabody Award. Olmos has also received a 2004 Latin Business Spirit Award, a 2004 Image Award, a 2004 Hugo Award for Best Actor on Battlestar Galactica, and a 2004 Family Television Award, and he was nominated for a SciFi Genre Award for Best Actor on Battlestar Galactica.
He was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award in Education and Latino Literacy 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 award for the 2nd annual Edward James Olmos Award for Advocacy in Amputation Prevention.
He is the father of actor Bodie Olmos, who appeared on Battlestar Galactica and American Family with him.