Esai Morales is an American actor best known for his role as Lt. Tony Rodriguez in the police drama television series NYPD Blue (2001-2004) and for his role as Bob Morales in the 1987 biopic La Bamba.
He currently stars as Joseph Adama in the science fiction television series Caprica, since 2009.
After graduating from New York's High School for the Performing Arts, Morales made his stage debut in El Hermano. His other theatre performances include Salome and The Tempest amongst others.
For three seasons, Morales played Lieutenant Tony Rodriguez in the Emmy award winning series NYPD Blue. He also starred in Showtime's Resurrection Blvd., PBS's drama series American Family, FOX's Vanished; and USA's Burn Notice.
In 2002, Morales was awarded the "Best Actor in a Television Series" at the prestigious Alma Awards and was honoured with Entertainer of the Year at the 17 Annual Imagen Awards for his work on NYPD Blue.
He also received an Imagen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his work in American Family.
He received critical acclaim for his roles in the films Rapa Nui and Mi Familia.
Morales starred in the award-winning indie film, American Fusion and the James Cotton film, La Linea, opposite Ray Liotta.
His other film credits include Fast Food Nation, The Virgin Of Juarez and La Bamba, which remains the most commercially successful Latino-themed motion picture to date.
A self-described "actorvist," Morales is involved in charities and non-profit organizations like the National Hispanic Foundation, which he co-founded with actors Jimmy Smits and Sonia Braga, that works to advance the presence and quality of Latinos in media, telecommunications and entertainment.
He is also a founding board member of the Earth Communications Office (E.C.O.), and he is a national board member of the Screen Actors Guild.