Host: No Greater Calling
Edward James Olmos, actor, producer, director and
community activist, was born and raised in East Los Angeles
and spent many years in theatrical roles until his mesmerizing
performance in the 1978 drama/musical Zoot Suit, which led
to a Tony Award nomination. He later recreated the role for film
and went on that year to star in Wolfen, Blade Runner, and
the acclaimed The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, directed by
Robert M. Young.
Throughout his career, Olmos work has been highly
acclaimed. He has received the LA Drama Circle Award, the
Emmy, three Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe awards,
and in 1988 received an Academy Award nomination for his
portrayal of Jaime Escalante, the dedicated math teacher, in
Stand and Deliver, which he also produced. Most recently, he
was awarded the PASS award from the National Council on
Crime and Delinquency for producing the anti-domestic
violence documentary It Aint Love.
Olmos recent endeavors include:
Americanos Americanos, published by Little, Brown in early
spring 1999. Americanos is being produced in conjunction
with the Smithsonian Institution as a five-year national museum
tour, a feature documentary on HBO, a book of photographs
and text about the Latino community across America, a CD
and a concert extravaganza filmed for presentation on PBSs
Great Performances, Live from Kennedy Center series.
The Latino Public Broadcasting Project. Olmos was asked by
the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to oversee the dispersal
of funds for Latino programming on public broadcasting
systems across America. The LPBP allocates funds to Latino
filmmakers for enhancing and enriching diversity on public
television across America
The 1999 Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival.
Produced by Olmos, the second Latino Book & Family Festival
was held in August 1999 at the L.A. Convention Center. The
three-day, non-profit event drew over 32,000 visitors. The
festival, which featured leading Latino authors and television
personalities such as Victor Villasenor, Luis Rodriguez,
Dionicio Morales and Christina Saralegui, had 487 exhibitor
booths--a 178% increase over 1997, which made it the largest
Latino trade show in American history.
The 1999 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. The
second annual Latino International Film Festival, also produced
by Olmos in 1999, featured the work of more than 70 Latino
filmmakers representing 13 countries. An estimated 17, 000
people attended the festival screenings, children's programs
and panel discussions.
Olmos current film work includes:
1998. Disneys Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, Warner Brothers
Gossip and Family: The Joseph Bonnanno Story 1997.
Olmos starred in the Warner Bros film Selena, as Abraham
Quintanilla and 12 Angry Men for Showtime which was
nominated for five Emmy Awards.
1996. Olmos starred in the ABC miniseries Dead Mans
Walk, the prequel to Lonesome Dove. He also completed
the movie The Limbic Region for MGM Showtime. In addition,
Olmos starred in the critically acclaimed Sony Pictures classic
thriller Caught, directed by longtime friend Robert M. Young.
1995. My Family/Mi Familia, co-starring Jimmy Smits and
Esai Morales, directed by Gregory Nava; Mirage, co-starring
Sean Young, directed by Paul Williams; Slave of Dreams, the
Showtime Production, produced by Dino DeLaurentis, and
Roosters, the American Playhouse Production co-starring
Sonja Braga and Maria Conchita Alonso.
1994. Olmos was honored with a Golden Globe Award and
nomination for an Emmy Award for his work in the 1994 HBO
production The Burning Season, the story of the Brazilian
political activist Chico Mendes. Olmos also played Jose
Menendez in the CBS Mini-Series Menendez: A Murder in
Beverly Hills. He was also the executive producer of the
award-winning documentary Lives in Hazard, which premiered
that year in April on NBC.
1992. Olmos marked his directorial debut and starred in the
powerful feature film American Me for his production
company, Olmos Productions.
Olmos participates in many humanitarian efforts, which include
working with David Rockefeller of the Rockefeller Foundation in
the recruitment of new teachers for U. S. schools. Over one
million people have contacted Recruiting New Teachers and
200,000 of these have become new teachers.
Olmos has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the
University of Colorado, Whittier College, California State
University, Fresno, Occidental College, and the American Film
Institute in Hollywood, as well as being honored by Harvard
University. He is the Executive Director of the Lives in Hazard
Educational Project, a national gang prevention program funded
by the U.S. Department of Justice which has been cited by
Attorney General Janet Reno and President Clinton as one of
the foremost programs of its kind. Olmos is also the Executive
Director of It Aint Love, a program and documentary whose
goal is to fight the growing problem of domestic violence.
Olmos is currently the United States Goodwill Ambassador for
UNICEF. He is a national spokesperson for the following
organizations: Voter Registration (Southwest Voter
Registration Project), where he helps the Latino Community in
its pursuit of citizenship and voter registration; Juvenile
Diabetes Foundation, and The AIDS Awareness Foundation.
Olmos serves on the boards of Recruiting New Teachers;
Twentieth Century Fund, UCLA School of Film and Theater;
UCLA mentoring program; Miami Childrens Hospital; Los
Angeles Childrens Hospital; National Council on Adoption;
Childrens Action Network, Hollywood Supports and
He also serves as a trustee for the National Hispanic
University, Plaza del Raza, and Whittier College.
Olmos has always had a strong passion for the arts and
humanities. He commits to over 150 speaking engagements
annually at schools, charities and juvenile institutions across
the country. He played an instrumental role in the clean-up
efforts the Los Angeles riots, the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake
and Hurricane in Florida, and most recently, Hurricane Mitch in