Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Infobox actor

caption = The 39th Annual Emmy Awards, 1987
birthdate = birth date and age|1955|07|09
birthplace = Brooklyn, New York, USA
spouse = Barbara Smits (1981–1987)
partner = Wanda de Jesus (1986 - Present)
emmyawards = Supporting Actor - Drama Series
1990 "L.A. Law"
goldenglobeawards = Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama
1996 "NYPD Blue"

Jimmy Smits (born July 9, 1955) is an American Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor. Smits is perhaps best known for his long-running roles on the 1980s legal drama "L.A. Law" as Richard Dysart's youngest uptight law partner, Victor Sifuentes, who was also the firm's pro-bono lawyer (a role he played from 1986 to 1991), and as Dennis Franz's second partner, Det. Bobby Simone, in "NYPD Blue" (a role he played from 1994 to 1998), a police officer who was a widower, as well as his role on "The West Wing" as congressman and presidential candidate Matt Santos, opposite Alan Alda, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen. He most recently played Alex Vega, the main character on CBS's prime-time serial, "Cane". As an actor, he is noted for his portrayal of earnest, honest men with deep moral convictions.


Early life

Smits was born in Brooklyn, New York City. His father, Cornelis Smits, was a Surinamese immigrant of Dutch descent who managed a screen-printing factory. His mother, Emilina, was a Puerto Rican who worked as a nurse. [http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/98/12.10.98/JimmySmits.html Jimmy Smits is still a big man on campus ] ] [ [http://www.hispaniconline.com/magazine/2005/march/CoverStory/index.html Hispanic Magazine.com - March 2005 - Jimmy Smits ] ] He has 2 sisters, Yvonne and Diana. He grew up in a devoutly Catholic family in a working-class neighborhood and spent time in Puerto Rico during his childhood. [ [http://www.redbookmag.com/your/celebrity/manifesto/jimmy-smits-cm Jimmy Smits - Redbook ] ] [ [http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/bio/smits_j.htm Gale - Free Resources - Hispanic Heritage - Biographies - Jimmy Smits ] ] Smits earned a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in 1980 and an MFA from Cornell University in 1982. Though born in New York, Smits has deep Puerto Rican roots and frequently visits the island. He was arrested for his participation in protests against U.S. Navy bombing practices on the Puerto Rican offshore island of Vieques. [cite news | url=http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2001/vol5n34/VQEds-en.shtml | title=Navy Must Heed Puerto Ricans: Stop The Bombing | work=The Puerto Rico Herald |author=Consuelo Lopez Springfield | date=6 August 2001 | accessdate=2006-12-11]


A wider audience became aware of Smits for his appearance as Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan who becomes Princess Leia's adoptive father, in the films ' and ' as well as the game {Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

He also starred in the multigenerational story of a Chicano family in "My Family/Mi Familia" in 1995. Smits also played the Conky Repairman on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" as one of the show's memorable characters, and in one of his earliest roles. Another notable early role played by Smits was that of Eddie Rivera in the series premiere of "Miami Vice". In the episode, he was Sonny Crockett's original partner, only to be shortly killed off in a sting gone wrong.

Smits was to have hosted the 2001 Latin Grammy Awards broadcast, but it was called off because of the terrorist attacks that day. He instead hosted a non-televised press conference to announce the winners.

Smits played the role of Congressman Matt Santos of Houston, Texas in the final two seasons of the American television drama "The West Wing", joining fellow "L.A. Law" alumnus John Spencer. Smits's character eventually ran for and won the US Presidency in the series.

For the third season of Dexter, Smits has signed on to play the role of Miguel Prado, an attorney general who will at times team with Dexter on the hunt for a murderer.cite news
title = Jimmy Smits Joins Dexter. Couldn't You Just Die?
url = http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-News-Blog/Todays-News/Jimmy-Smits-Dexter/800041016
publisher = TV Guide
date = 5 June 2008

Personal life

Smits was married to Barbara Smits from 1981 until their divorce in 1987. They have two children, Taina (born in 1973) and Joaquin (born in 1983). Since 1986, Smits has been in a relationship with actress Wanda De Jesus. They reside in Los Angeles. Smits helped found the "National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts" [ [http://www.hispanicarts.org Mission Statement ] ] to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. Jimmy is also an advocate for diagnostic colorectal screening and has appeared in a public service commercial.


*Miami Vice (1984) TV Episode .... Eddie Rivera
*Rockabye (1986) (TV) .... 2nd Policeman
* (1986) TV Episode .... Hector Valdes
*Running Scared (1986) .... Julio Gonzales
*Hotshot (1987) .... Stars Team Member
*The Believers (1987) .... Tom Lopez
*The Highwayman (1987) (TV) .... Bo Ziker
*Stamp of a Killer (1987) (TV) .... Richard Braden
*Glitz (1988) (TV) .... Vincent Marra
*Pee-wee's Playhouse (1989) TV Episode .... Your authorized conky repairman
*Old Gringo (1989) .... Gen. Tomas Arroyo
*Vital Signs (1990) .... Dr. David Redding
*Cop Rock (1990) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Victor Sifuentes
*Switch (1991) .... Walter Stone
*Fires Within (1991) .... Nestor
*The Broken Cord (1992) (TV) .... David Norwell
*L.A. Law .... Victor Sifuentes (1986–1991)
*The Tommyknockers (1993) (TV) .... Jim 'Gard' Gardner
*Gross Misconduct (1993) .... Justin Thorne
*The Cisco Kid (1994) (TV) .... Cisco Kid
* (1995) TV Series (voice) .... Old King Cole
*Solomon & Sheba (1995) (TV) .... King Solomon
*My Family/Mi Familia (1995) .... Jimmy Sanchez
*The Last Word (1995) .... Actor (Martin)
*Marshal Law (1996) (TV) .... Jack Coleman
*Murder in Mind (1997) .... Peter Walker
* (1997) (TV) (voice) .... Old King Cole
*Lesser Prophets (1997) .... Mike
*Adventures in Wild California (2000) .... Narrator (voice)
*The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) .... Geronimo
*Price of Glory (2000) .... Arturo Ortega
*Bless the Child (2000) .... Agent John Travis
* (2002) .... Senator Bail Organa
*NYPD Blue (1994-1998 & 2004) .... Det. Bobby Simone
*Lackawanna Blues (2005) (TV) .... Ruben Santiago Sr.
* (2005) .... Senator Bail Organa
*The West Wing (2004–2006) .... Congressman Matthew Santos
*Cane (2007) (TV) .... Alex Vega
*Dexter (2008) (TV) .... Miguel Prado


External links


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