'Edward James Olmos Day' declared in LA County to honor local legend

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
'Edward James Olmos Day' declared in LA County to honor local legend
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'Edward James Olmos Day' was declared in L.A. County to honor the East L.A native, community activist and legendary actor best known for his Oscar-nominated role in "Stand and Deliver,'' portraying Garfield High teacher Jaime Escalante.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors declared Tuesday "Edward James Olmos Day" to honor the local legend and actor.

It's all part of this month's Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

"Edward James Olmos has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, director, and producer,'' Supervisor Hilda Solis, who authored the motion, said in a statement. "He is a local legend whose talent has brought him attention worldwide but it is also his work as a devoted humanitarian that has captivated the hearts of many. It is my honor to move forward this proclamation during Hispanic Heritage Month so that Latinos everywhere can celebrate his contributions to our community.''

Born in 1947 in East Los Angeles, Olmos graduated from Montebello High School in 1964 and earned a degree in sociology and criminal justice at East Los Angeles College.

But acting became his passion, as he appeared in a series of Southland stage productions and making guest appearances on TV shows such as "Kojak,'' "Police Woman,'' "Starsky and Hutch'' and "Hawaii Five-O.'' He scored a Tony nomination for his role as El Pachuco in the Broadway production of "Zoot Suit.'' Olmos reprised that role in a film of the same name in 1981.

Olmos struck it big with the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver,'' portraying Garfield High School math teacher Jaime Escalante, a role that earned him an Oscar nomination. Concurrently, he was a fixture in many American homes for his role as Lt. Martin Castillo in "Miami Vice,'' for which he won a supporting-actor Emmy.

He made dozens of film and TV appearances in the years since, including films such as "Selena'' and "Blade Runner,'' his regular roles in "Battlestar Galactica'' and "Mayans M.C.''

Olmos is also noted for his community work and activism on behalf of the Latino community. He co-founded the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and founded Latino Public Broadcasting.

MORE: Edward James Olmos stresses importance of Latino storytellers

"It's really important that we realize that these are the future. And there's some beautiful, beautiful films here all the way around," living legend Edward James Olmos said, emphasizing the importance of Latino storytellers.

City News Service contributed to this report.