La Bamba ♦ Caprica ♦ NYPD Blue ♦ 24 ♦ Criminal Minds ♦ Jericho ♦ American Family
Award-winning actor Esai Morales continues to lend his outstanding talents to television, theater and film. Since his feature film debut in Bad Boys in 1983, Morales is consistently recognized for giving performances that strongly resonate in the hearts and minds of audiences.
After graduating from New York’s High School for the Performing Arts, Esai made his stage debut in El Hermano. His other theatre performances include Salome and The Tempest amongst others. It wasn’t long before his focus on theater expanded to the small screen.
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’ 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 honored 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. Esai appeared on Syfy’s hit series Caprica as series regular ‘Joseph Adama.’ In 2011, Morales was cast as the lead of NBC’s 17th Precinct.
Morales starred in the award-winning indie film, American Fusion, followed by James Cotton film, La Linea, opposite Ray Liotta. He can also be seen in Kill Kill Faster Faster, Fast Food Nation and The Virgin Of Juarez and La Bamba, which remains the most commercially successful Latino-themed motion picture to date. He received critical acclaim for his roles in the films Rapa Nui, and Mi Familia.
Esai’s most recent film credit is the lead in the Gun Hill Road, a poignant project that made its premiere this year at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to debuting in Park City, the film was named recipient of the 2009 Princess Grace Foundation Award, the 2009 Spike Lee Fellowship and has been recognized by the Urban Arts Initiative in New York City and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.
A self-described “actorvist,” Morales is involved in charities and non-profit organizations like the National Hispanic Foundation For the Arts, 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.
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