Esai Morales

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Esai Morales
Esai Morales.JPG
Morales in 2009
BornEsai Manuel Morales
(1962-10-01) October 1, 1962 (age 52)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.[2]
OccupationActor, producer, director, musician
Years active1982-present
Partner(s)Elvimar Silva (present)
ChildrenMariana Oliveira Morales (born 2010)
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Esai Morales
Esai Morales.JPG
Morales in 2009
BornEsai Manuel Morales
(1962-10-01) October 1, 1962 (age 52)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.[2]
OccupationActor, producer, director, musician
Years active1982-present
Partner(s)Elvimar Silva (present)
ChildrenMariana Oliveira Morales (born 2010)

Esai Manuel Morales (born October 1, 1962) is an American actor. He played Bob Morales in the 1987 biopic La Bamba. He also appeared in the PBS drama American Family and in the Showtime series Resurrection Blvd.. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Lt. Tony Rodriguez on NYPD Blue and Joseph Adama in the science fiction television series Caprica.

Early life[edit]

Of Puerto Rican descent, Morales was born in Brooklyn, New York to Esai Morales, Sr., a welder, and Iris Margarita (née Declet), a union activist involved with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.[3] Morales began his pursuit of an acting career by attending the School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.[4]


His first professional performances were in theater and television in New York. His first film was Bad Boys (1983), about teenagers in juvenile correction facility. He played the ex-convict and biker half-brother of 1950s rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens in La Bamba (1987). Some of his other roles have reflected his socio-political interests, such as The Burning Season in 1994, My Family/Mi Familia in 1995, The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (1997) and Southern Cross (1999).[5] In the latter three films, as well as in others such as Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and Rapa Nui (1994), Morales saw increased amounts of screen time, starting with a role in the Pauly Shore film In The Army Now (1994). He portrayed a police officer in the film Dogwatch (1996) and Father Herrera in The Virgin of Juarez (2006).[6]

Morales appeared on television in the mid-1980s on Fame. He co-starred with Burt Lancaster in the NBC-TV miniseries, On Wings of Eagles, playing the Iranian Rashid, the hero of a true story about Ross Perot. Morales also appeared in Miami Vice, The Equalizer, and 24.

In the 1990s, he guest-starred on episodes of The Outer Limits, Tales from the Crypt, and two shorter-lived series, L.A. Doctors and The Hunger. He was a featured TV actor, seen in a two-part episode of Family Law in 2000. His tenure on NYPD Blue as the head of the 15th precinct detective squad began in mid-season 2001 and continued until 2004, when he decided to cancel his contract.[citation needed]

The film Paid in Full was scheduled for release in October 2002. It marked a return to a criminal character such as those in his previous roles - in this case playing a drug dealer named Lulu. In 2005, he (along with Mercedes Ruehl) received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). That same year, he contributed his vocal talents to the video game True Crime: New York City, playing Sgt. Victor Navarro.

Morales with Grace Park and Eric Stoltz

Morales was cast in the film American Fusion (2005),[7] and on June 19, 2006, he joined the cast of the Fox series Vanished, as FBI agent Michael Tyner alongside actors Gale Harold and Ming-Na. The series was later canceled.[8] In 2007, he completed filming for Kill Kill Faster Faster, a contemporary film noir inspired by the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Joel Rose. Also in 2007, Morales appeared in an episode of the USA Network drama series Burn Notice, as a Cuban shopkeeper being shaken down for "protection" money by local criminals. In early 2008, Morales had a role in the CBS drama Jericho, as Major Edward Beck. He appeared in all seven episodes of the shortened second season.

In May 2008, it was announced that Morales would play the role of Joseph Adama in the science fiction television series CapricaSyfy's prequel to the series Battlestar Galactica.[9][10] The series premiered on January 22, 2010. In 2009, he served as an official festival judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

In 2011, Morales starred in the drama film Gun Hill Road, as Enrique,[11] and in the web drama Los Americans airing on[12]

Personal life[edit]

Morales has described himself as an "actorvist",[13] primarily as one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, taking inspiration from his mother, who was an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.[14] He is also interested in environmental issues and was a founding board member of E.C.O. (Earth Communications Office).[15]

In the February 28th, 2007 all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, he portrayed a hopeful member of a struggling immigrant family, and plays alongside actors Ed Asner, Barbara Bain, Amy Brenneman, George Coe, Wendie Malick, and James Pickens, Jr.. The play was an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution 808, which sought to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the U.S. government, to be funded by a two percent diversion of the Pentagon's annual budget.[16]

Morales is a vegetarian.[17] He and girlfriend Elvimar Silva had a daughter, Mariana Oiveira, on September 24, 2010.[3]



1982Forty DeuceMitchell
1983Bad BoysPaco Moreno
1986Rainy Day FriendsNeekos Valdez
1987La BambaRoberto "Bob" Valenzuela
1987The PrincipalRaymi Rojas
1989Bloodhounds of BroadwayHandsome Jack
1990Naked TangoZico Borenstein
1992UltravioletNicholas Walker
1993The WaiterJulius
1993Living and Working in Space: The Countdown Has BegunKennyDirect-to-video
1994Rapa NuiMake
1994Don't Do ItCharles
1994In the Army NowSgt. Stern
1995My FamilyChucho
1996Livers Ain't CheapCollin
1996Dog WatchMurrowDirect-to-video
1996Scorpion SpringAstor
1997The Disappearance of Garcia LorcaRicardo
1998The Wonderful Ice Cream SuitDominguez
1999Southern CrossPhilip Solano
2000American VirginJim the Director
2000Spin CycleNickens
2000Doomsday ManMikesecond unit director
2002The Adventures of Tom Thumb & ThumbelinaVergas Mouse (voice)Direct-to-video
2002Paid in FullLulu
2005Once Upon a WeddingPineda
2005American FusionJose
2005Heartless (Lethal Seduction)Rick Benes / David LopezTV movie
2006The Virgin of JuarezFather Herrera
2006Fast Food NationTony
2006How to Go Out on a Date in QueensFrankie
2008Kill Kill Faster FasterMarkie
2008La LineaPelon
2010King of the AvenueNatas
2011Gun Hill RoadEnrique
2011Lives of the Saintsn/ain production
2012Atlas Shrugged Part 2Francisco d'Anconia
2012Seattle SuperstormTom Reynolds


  Spare Parts  Mr.Santillan  


1984ABC Afterschool SpecialMiguel RadosEpisode: "The Great Love Experiment"
1985The EqualizerOfficer Miguel CanterraEpisode: "Lady Cop"
1985FameGeorgeEpisode: "Savage Streets"
1985-1987Miami VicePete Romano/Felipe CruzEpisodes:
"The Home Invaders"
"God's Work"
1986On Wings of EaglesRashidTV mini-series
1989The Twilight ZoneJesse CardiffEpisode: "A Game of Pool"
1991-1992The Legend of Prince Valiantn/a (voice)Episodes:
"The Visitor"
"The Trap"
1992Bay City StoryJim DuranTV movie
1994The Burning SeasonJairTV movie
1994Tales from the CryptPuckEpisode: "The Bribe"
1995Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14Tony ArcherTV movie
1996Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena StoryFederico PeñaTV movie
1997The Outer LimitsFrank KeltonEpisode: "Heart's Desire"
1997The HungerTonyEpisode: "I'm Dangerous Tonight"
1998Adventures from the Book of VirtuesGuillermo (voice)Episode: "Charity"
1998Circle of DeceitJeff SilvaTV movie
1999L.A. DoctorsVince DuraldeEpisode: "The Life Lost in Living"
1999Atomic TrainNoris MacKenzieTV movie
2000A Family in Crisis: The Elian Gonzales StoryJuan Miguel GonzalezTV movie
2000Family LawMr. SantiagoEpisode: "Telling Lies, Conclusion"
2000-2002Resurrection Blvd.Paco Corrales7 episodes
2001-2004NYPD BlueLt. Tony RodriguezSeries regular
2002American FamilyEsteban Gonzalez8 episodes
2002George LopezManny LopezEpisode: "Who's Your Daddy?"
2002-2003Dora the ExplorerPapiEpisodes:
"El Dia De Las Madres"
"A Present for Santa"
"Super Map"
"Egg Hunt"
2004Sudburyn/aTV movie
2005HeartlessRick Benes/David LopezTV movie
2005FreddieCarlosEpisode: "The Courtship of Freddie's Father"
2005Behind the Mask of ZorroNarratorTV documentary (co-producer)
2006Company TownRay DupreTV movie
2006VanishedMichael Tyner11 episodes
2007The CureJorgeTV movie
200724: Day 6 DebriefAgent Jorge RamirezEpisodes:
"9:00 p.m."
"9:42 p.m."
"10:31 p.m."
"10:33 p.m."
"10:37 p.m."
2007Burn NoticeErnie PaseoEpisode: "Broken Rules"
2008JerichoMajor Edward Beck7 episodes
2009-2010CapricaJoseph AdamaSeries regular
2010CSI: MiamiStephen MadsenEpisode: "All Fall Down"
2011Los AmericansLee Valenzuela8 episodes (producer)
2011Fairly LegalD.A. Aaron DavidsonEpisode: "Bo Me Once"
2011Seattle SuperstormTomTV movie
201117th PrecinctLiam ButterfieldTV movie
2011We Have Your HusbandEduardo ValsecaTV movie
2012Law & Order: Special Victims UnitJimmy VasquezEpisode: "Home Invasions"
2013Major CrimesDeputy DiazEpisode: "Jailbait"
2013-presentCriminal Minds[18]BAU Section Chief Mateo CruzRecurring character

Video games[edit]

Video games
2005True Crime: New York CityCaptain Victor Navarrovoice


External links[edit]