Morales in 2009
|Born||Esai Manuel Morales
October 1, 1962 
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, producer, director, musician|
|Partner(s)||Elvimar Silva (present)|
|Children||Mariana 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.
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. Morales began his pursuit of an acting career by attending the School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.
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). 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).
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.
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 was cast in the film American Fusion (2005), 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. 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 Caprica – Syfy's prequel to the series Battlestar Galactica. 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.
Morales has described himself as an "actorvist", 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. He is also interested in environmental issues and was a founding board member of E.C.O. (Earth Communications Office).
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.
|1983||Bad Boys||Paco Moreno|
|1986||Rainy Day Friends||Neekos Valdez|
|1987||La Bamba||Roberto "Bob" Valenzuela|
|1987||The Principal||Raymi Rojas|
|1989||Bloodhounds of Broadway||Handsome Jack|
|1990||Naked Tango||Zico Borenstein|
|1993||Living and Working in Space: The Countdown Has Begun||Kenny||Direct-to-video|
|1994||Don't Do It||Charles|
|1994||In the Army Now||Sgt. Stern|
|1996||Livers Ain't Cheap||Collin|
|1997||The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca||Ricardo|
|1998||The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit||Dominguez|
|1999||Southern Cross||Philip Solano|
|2000||American Virgin||Jim the Director|
|2000||Doomsday Man||Mike||second unit director|
|2002||The Adventures of Tom Thumb & Thumbelina||Vergas Mouse (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2002||Paid in Full||Lulu|
|2005||Once Upon a Wedding||Pineda|
|2005||Heartless (Lethal Seduction)||Rick Benes / David Lopez||TV movie|
|2006||The Virgin of Juarez||Father Herrera|
|2006||Fast Food Nation||Tony|
|2006||How to Go Out on a Date in Queens||Frankie|
|2008||Kill Kill Faster Faster||Markie|
|2010||King of the Avenue||Natas|
|2011||Gun Hill Road||Enrique|
|2011||Lives of the Saints||n/a||in production|
|2012||Atlas Shrugged Part 2||Francisco d'Anconia|
|2012||Seattle Superstorm||Tom Reynolds|
|1984||ABC Afterschool Special||Miguel Rados||Episode: "The Great Love Experiment"|
|1985||The Equalizer||Officer Miguel Canterra||Episode: "Lady Cop"|
|1985||Fame||George||Episode: "Savage Streets"|
|1985-1987||Miami Vice||Pete Romano/Felipe Cruz||Episodes:
"The Home Invaders"
|1986||On Wings of Eagles||Rashid||TV mini-series|
|1989||The Twilight Zone||Jesse Cardiff||Episode: "A Game of Pool"|
|1991-1992||The Legend of Prince Valiant||n/a (voice)||Episodes:
|1992||Bay City Story||Jim Duran||TV movie|
|1994||The Burning Season||Jair||TV movie|
|1994||Tales from the Crypt||Puck||Episode: "The Bribe"|
|1995||Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14||Tony Archer||TV movie|
|1996||Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena Story||Federico Peña||TV movie|
|1997||The Outer Limits||Frank Kelton||Episode: "Heart's Desire"|
|1997||The Hunger||Tony||Episode: "I'm Dangerous Tonight"|
|1998||Adventures from the Book of Virtues||Guillermo (voice)||Episode: "Charity"|
|1998||Circle of Deceit||Jeff Silva||TV movie|
|1999||L.A. Doctors||Vince Duralde||Episode: "The Life Lost in Living"|
|1999||Atomic Train||Noris MacKenzie||TV movie|
|2000||A Family in Crisis: The Elian Gonzales Story||Juan Miguel Gonzalez||TV movie|
|2000||Family Law||Mr. Santiago||Episode: "Telling Lies, Conclusion"|
|2000-2002||Resurrection Blvd.||Paco Corrales||7 episodes|
|2001-2004||NYPD Blue||Lt. Tony Rodriguez||Series regular|
|2002||American Family||Esteban Gonzalez||8 episodes|
|2002||George Lopez||Manny Lopez||Episode: "Who's Your Daddy?"|
|2002-2003||Dora the Explorer||Papi||Episodes:
"El Dia De Las Madres"
"A Present for Santa"
|2005||Heartless||Rick Benes/David Lopez||TV movie|
|2005||Freddie||Carlos||Episode: "The Courtship of Freddie's Father"|
|2005||Behind the Mask of Zorro||Narrator||TV documentary (co-producer)|
|2006||Company Town||Ray Dupre||TV movie|
|2006||Vanished||Michael Tyner||11 episodes|
|2007||The Cure||Jorge||TV movie|
|2007||24: Day 6 Debrief||Agent Jorge Ramirez||Episodes:
|2007||Burn Notice||Ernie Paseo||Episode: "Broken Rules"|
|2008||Jericho||Major Edward Beck||7 episodes|
|2009-2010||Caprica||Joseph Adama||Series regular|
|2010||CSI: Miami||Stephen Madsen||Episode: "All Fall Down"|
|2011||Los Americans||Lee Valenzuela||8 episodes (producer)|
|2011||Fairly Legal||D.A. Aaron Davidson||Episode: "Bo Me Once"|
|2011||Seattle Superstorm||Tom||TV movie|
|2011||17th Precinct||Liam Butterfield||TV movie|
|2011||We Have Your Husband||Eduardo Valseca||TV movie|
|2012||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Jimmy Vasquez||Episode: "Home Invasions"|
|2013||Major Crimes||Deputy Diaz||Episode: "Jailbait"|
|2013-present||Criminal Minds||BAU Section Chief Mateo Cruz||Recurring character|
|2005||True Crime: New York City||Captain Victor Navarro||voice|
- Esai Morales Biography
- Esai Morales Biography
- Esai Does It
- Esai Morales Biography
- Southern Cross (1999)
- Esai Morales Videos
- Vanished: Watch the Last Episode of the Cancelled TV Show
- Esai Morales Cast on Caprica — as Adama's Father
- Caprica star Esai Morales sees parallels with these great stories
- Gun Hill Road
- Interview with Esai Morales
- Introducing the actors who bring American Family to life.
- ASHA and Film/TV Star Esai Morales Collaborate on Safe Listening Public Service Announcement
- Esai Morales Award-Winning Actor & Activist
- The Gift of Peace
- Famous Vegetarians - Esai Morales
- "Exclusive: Esai Morales Joins Criminal Minds as New Section Chief". TVGuide.com. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
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