Oct. 1st, 1962
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Esai Morales' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Esai Morales, a graduate of New York's High School for the Performing Arts, began his acting career on the stage, firstly appearing in El Hermano at the Ensemble Theatre Studio and at New York's Shakespeare Festival In The Park in The Tempest.
Esai made his film debut in Bad Boys (1983), and later appeared as Richie Valens' older brother in La Bamba (1987). He has also done voice work on a variety of animated features such as The Adventures of Tom Thumb & Thumbelina (2002) (V) and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000) (V).
A versatile actor, Morales is no stranger to the small screen, having appeared in a variety of roles in television series including "The Outer Limits" (1995), "Family Law" (1999)", "Resurrection Blvd." (2000), "The Twilight Zone" (1985), "Fame" (1982), "Tales from the Crypt" (1989), and "Miami Vice" (1984). He had a long-running role on ABC's popular series "NYPD Blue" (1993) as Lt. Tony Rodriguez.
A self-proclaimed activist, Esai Morales has freely given of his time to assist with many charitable organizations and environmental causes. He was founding board member of E.C.O. (Earth Communications Office), which is a clearing house for environmental information and has worked closely with the Wildlife Preservation Fund in Costa Rica and Health Education Aids Liaison (H.E.A.L.).
- He first became interested in an acting career at age 12 when he saw 'Al Pacino' (qv) in _Dog Day Afternoon (1975)_ (qv).
- He originally auditioned for the role of 'Ritchie Valens' (qv) in _La Bamba (1987)_ (qv), and 'Lou Diamond Phillips' (qv) originally auditioned for the role of Bob.
- Esai's Puerto Rican parents divorced when he was a baby.
- Spoke only Spanish until age 5.
- Studied at Manhattan's High School for the Performing Arts.
- Is co-founder, with 'Sonia Braga' (qv) and 'Jimmy Smits' (qv), of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
- As a child, Esai was so concerned about his mother's smoking that he hid her cigarettes.