Jimmy Smits

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 07/09/1955, Cancer
  • Profession: Actor
User Rating: (310 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Although this Hispanic hunk's character died quickly in his TV debut on the Miami Vice pilot, Smits parlayed what could have been 15 minutes of fame into a multi-decade career. His five-year stint on L.A. Law as a rags-to-riches lawyer turned Smits into a star, earned him an Emmy and helped pave the way for Latino actors who were sick of only playing criminals. In 1994, he joined the taboo-breaking NYPD Blue as a sensitive detective who wasn't afraid to show his backside. While Smits appeared in a handful of films along the way, including two Star Wars movies, he's most frequently seen on the small screen. In 2004, he signed on to play a Democratic presidential candidate-turned-president-elect on the last two seasons of West Wing. After that series ended, Smits executive-produced and starred on the short-lived CBS drama Cane---a casualty of the 2007-08 writers' strike---which he immediately followed with a Season 3 stint on Showtime's acclaimed Dexter. Smits also devotes his time to a number of charitable causes, including the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, which he co-founded in 1997 to promote Hispanic talent in the performing arts.Jimmy Smits Fast Facts:
  • Mother was from Puerto Rico and father was from Dutch Guiana (now Surinam).
  • Before high school, lived for two years in Puerto Rico, where he learned to speak Spanish.
  • Worked as a union labor organizer during his college years.
  • An investor (along with Paul Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez) in the Conga Room, an L.A. dance club/restaurant that showcases Latino music.
  • Made his big-screen debut in the 1986 buddy-cop film Running Scared.
  • On the political drama West Wing, his character, Democratic president-elect Matthew Santos, was loosely based on Barack Obama, who was not yet even a U.S. senator at the time.
  • Reprised his Star Wars role of Sen. Bail Organa for the popular video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
  • Jimmy Smits Relationships:
  • Diana Smits - Sister
  • Wanda De Jesús - Significant Other
  • Taina - Daughter
  • Joaquin - Son
  • Barbara Smits - Ex-wife
  • Cornelis Smits - Father
  • Emelina Smits - Mother
  • Jimmy Smits Awards:
  • 1997 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1989 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1995 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1991 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
  • 1996 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama - Winner
  • 1999 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama - Nominee
  • 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1992 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1994 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 2009 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1997 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama - Nominee
  • 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1987 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1990 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 1988 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1996 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor for a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • College:
  • City University of New York, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY (BA, 1980); Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (MFA, 1982)

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular