Edward James Olmos was born in and got his first big acting break in the stage production of Zoot Suit. His career steadily grew, as he appeared in films like Blade Runner, and joined the cast of TV's Miami Vice. He received an Oscar nomination for his role as a teacher in 1988's Stand and Deliver.
At a young age, Olmos dreamt of being a professional baseball player, but he later thought that being a performer would be his way out of his East Los Angeles neighborhood. He started out in a rock band. After taking a drama course, Olmos decided to try acting. Olmos found work in small parts -- usually playing the bad guy -- on numerous television shows, including Kojak, Hawaii Five-O and Police Woman. His film career steadily grew with supporting roles in a number of films, including Blade Runner (1982). He also explored opportunities on television with guest appearances on the series Hill Street Blues and joined the cast of Miami Vice in 1984. Olmos received Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his portrayal of Lieutenant Martin Castillo.
Outside of his work in film and on television, Olmos spends much of his time as an activist. He has supported numerous causes and has been an advocate for Latino culture, organizing film festivals and other special projects and events. Olmos married his first wife, Kaija Keel -- with whom he has two sons -- in 1971. The couple divorced in 1992. He and his second wife, actress Lorraine Bracco, were married from 1994 to 2002. Olmos is currently married to actress Lymari Nadal, known for her perfomance in the 2002 film American Gangster.