Jimmy Smits - Hispanic Men, Timeline and Childhood

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Jimmy Smits's Personal Details

Jimmy Smits is an American actor

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 9, 1955
NationalityAmerican
FamousHispanic Men, Hispanic Actors, Cornell University, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
City/StateNew Yorkers
SpousesBarbara Smits (1981–1987); Wanda De Jesus
Childrens Joaquin, Taina
Universities
  • Cornell University
Notable Alumnis
  • Cornell University
Birth PlaceBrooklyn, New York, United States
Height191cm
GenderMale
FatherCornelis Leendert Smits
MotherEmilina (née Pola)
Net Worth$25 million as of Jan 15,2017
Sun SignCancer
Born inBrooklyn, New York, United States
Famous asActor

// Famous Hispanic Men

Jimmy Smits's photo

Who is Jimmy Smits?

Jimmy Smits is an American actor best known for his television series such as ‘L.A. Law’ and ‘NYPD Blue’ and movies like ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’. Making his TV debut in the early 1980s he did bit roles including a small notable role of a pilot in the crime drama series ‘Miami Vice’. He went on to portray a rags-to-riches lawyer, Victor Sifuentes in the television legal drama series ‘L.A. Law’. The role that he pulled off with great élan for around five years not only shot him to limelight but also earned him the prestigious Emmy Awards. Moving on he did several television movies, big-screen flicks and a few TV series here and there before landing up yet another remarkable role of Detective Bobby Simone in the television police procedural drama series ‘NYPD Blue’. He was a regular in the series from the second to sixth season and performed as guest actor in the twelfth one garnering immense popularity and fan following. Other notable works of Smits include TV series like ‘The West Wing’, ‘Dexter’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and films like ‘My Family’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ among others.

// Famous Alumni of Cornell University

Childhood & Early Life

Jimmy Smits was born on July 9, 1955, in Brooklyn, New York in the US as the eldest child and only son of Cornelis Leendert Smits and Emilina (née Pola). His father was of Dutch descent and came from Paramaribo, Surinam, managed a silk-screening factory while his mother was a Puerto Rican.

He and his two sisters, Yvonne and Diana were brought up mainly in Brooklyn in a working class neighborhood by his family who were devoted Roman Catholics. As a child he also spent time in Puerto Rico; he identifies himself as a Puerto Rican and visits the place frequently.

He studied and graduated from ‘Thomas Jefferson High School’ in Brooklyn where he also remained active both as an athlete and as an actor.

While in teens he developed a keen interest in acting that eventually saw him quitting his school’s football team so as to dedicate his time more on plays and musicals of the school. In 1980 he obtained his bachelor's degree from ‘Brooklyn College’.

He then attended ‘Cornell University’ from where he earned ‘Master of Fine Arts’ in 1982.

Career

He toured across the US during early 1980s performing in off-Broadway and repertory productions and eventually earned great appreciation. Some of the plays he worked included ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Loose Ends’ (both in 1982). With time he started getting part roles in big screen flicks as well as TV productions.

One of his early roles, small yet notable, was that of Eddie Rivera, the ill-fated partner of detective James "Sonny" Crockett portrayed by Don Johnson in the American television crime drama series ‘Miami Vice’. His part featured only in the two-hour premiere of the series in 1984.

In 1986 he landed up with a supporting role of Julio Gonzales, a drug dealer in the action-comedy flick ‘Running Scared’.

The role that gave him real breakthrough, name and recognition was that of attorney Victor Sifuentes in the television legal drama series ‘L.A. Law’. The weekly series that ran on NBC for 8 seasons starting from September 15, 1986 was both a critical and commercial success.

He regularly performed in the first 5 of 8 seasons of ‘L.A. Law’ and then made guest appearances in the 6th season featuring in overall 107 episodes of the series. His brilliant performance earned him the prestigious ‘Primetime Emmy Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’ in 1990.

Meanwhile he worked in several TV projects including movies like ‘The Highwayman’ (1987) and series like ‘Pee-wee's Playhouse’ (1989) as also in big screen flicks like ‘The Believers’ (1987) and ‘Old Gringo (1989). The latter saw him sharing screen space with Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.

In pursuit of focusing more on film career he quit ‘L.A. Law’ in 1991, but made guest appearances. However after playing leading roles in the 1991 films ‘Switch’ and ‘Fires Within’ which garnered little success, he came back to television in the following year with the documentary ‘The Broken Cord’.

He played Jim "Gard" Gardner, one of the two lead roles in Stephen King's ‘The Tommyknockers’ that released on May 9, 1993, marking his debut in television miniseries.

In 1994 he landed up the role of Detective Bobby Simone in the police procedural drama television series ‘NYPD Blue’ and executed it regularly till 1998 starting from the 2nd to the 6th season and then guest appeared in the 12th one thus covering 90 episodes.

While doing ‘NYPD Blue’ he worked in big screen projects like ‘The Family’ (1995) and ‘Murder in Mind’ (1997), TV movies like ‘The Cisco Kid’ (1994) and TV series like ‘Happily Ever After’ (1995, 1997).

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) presented him the HOLA Award for Excellence in 1999.

Year 2000 saw him coming up with big screen flicks like ‘Adventures in Wild California’, ‘Price of Glory’, ‘The Million Dollar Hotel’ and ‘Bless the Child’.

Smits was arrested in 2001 for taking part in protests against bombing practices by the US Navy on Vieques, an island–municipality of Puerto Rico.

While juggling with big and small screen roles he fanned his theatrical passion as and when possible. His onstage performances in the early 2000s included playing Duke Orsino in ‘Twelfth Night’ (2002) and Benedick in ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ (2004).

Smits landed up playing Senator Bail Organa in ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones’, the second instalment of Star Wars prequel trilogy that released on May 16, 2002. He then reprised the role in ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ (2005) and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016).

In 2004 he took up essaying the role of Matt Santos in the serial political drama TV series, ‘The West Wing’. Working in the last two seasons of the series till 2006, he featured in 37 episodes and won the ‘ALMA Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series’ in 2006.

Moving forward he did several other TV series like ‘Cane’ (2007), ‘Dexter’ (2008), ‘Outlaw’ (2010) and ‘Son of Anarchy’ (2012 – 2014); and films ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’ (2007) and ‘Mother and Child’ (2010).

He was part of Broadway play ‘God of Carnage’ from November 2009 to February 2010 and in ‘The Motherfucker with the Hat’ from December 2012 to March 2013.

Presently he features as Francisco "Papa Fuerte" Cruz in the musical drama television series, ‘The Get Down’ (since 2016) and as John Donovan in the television series ‘24: Legacy’, a spin-off of the 2014 action thriller television series ‘24’.

Major Works

The characterisation of Victor Sifuentes of ‘L.A. Law’ shot him to fame and stardom and with such portrayal he also broke new ground for other Latino actors paving their way to different other roles instead of playing criminals only.

The part of Simone in ‘NYPD Blue’ emerged as one of his most memorable and acclaimed performances thus earning him both repute and fan base. It fetched him awards including ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for ‘Best Actor - Television Series Drama’ in 1996 apart from many Emmy nominations.

Personal Life & Legacy

He was married to Barbara, his high school love from 1981 to 1987. He has two children with Barbara; a daughter Taina born in 1973 and a son, Joaquin born in 1983.

Presently he lives with actress Wanda De Jesus with whom he is romantically associated since 1986.

He is quite committed to the Latino community. He co-founded ‘The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts’ in 1997 that aims at promoting Hispanic talents. His work for the community saw him being honoured with the ‘Ackerman Leadership Award’ in 2015.

Humanitarian Work

He does a lot of charity work and has donated to organisations such as the ‘Red Cross’, ‘Stand up to Cancer’ and ‘New York Cares’. He frequently donates for treating HIV and AIDS as also for creative arts and for any natural disaster.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Jimmy Smits awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

1996Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - DramaNYPD Blue (1993)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1990Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesL.A. Law (1986)

Jimmy Smits biography timelines

  • // 9th Jul 1955
    Jimmy Smits was born on July 9, 1955, in Brooklyn, New York in the US as the eldest child and only son of Cornelis Leendert Smits and Emilina (née Pola). His father was of Dutch descent and came from Paramaribo, Surinam, managed a silk-screening factory while his mother was a Puerto Rican.
  • // 1980
    While in teens he developed a keen interest in acting that eventually saw him quitting his school’s football team so as to dedicate his time more on plays and musicals of the school. In 1980 he obtained his bachelor's degree from ‘Brooklyn College’.
  • // 1982
    He then attended ‘Cornell University’ from where he earned ‘Master of Fine Arts’ in 1982.
  • // 1982
    He toured across the US during early 1980s performing in off-Broadway and repertory productions and eventually earned great appreciation. Some of the plays he worked included ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Loose Ends’ (both in 1982). With time he started getting part roles in big screen flicks as well as TV productions.
  • // 1984
    One of his early roles, small yet notable, was that of Eddie Rivera, the ill-fated partner of detective James "Sonny" Crockett portrayed by Don Johnson in the American television crime drama series ‘Miami Vice’. His part featured only in the two-hour premiere of the series in 1984.
  • // 1986
    In 1986 he landed up with a supporting role of Julio Gonzales, a drug dealer in the action-comedy flick ‘Running Scared’.
  • // 1986
    Presently he lives with actress Wanda De Jesus with whom he is romantically associated since 1986.
  • // 15th Sep 1986
    The role that gave him real breakthrough, name and recognition was that of attorney Victor Sifuentes in the television legal drama series ‘L.A. Law’. The weekly series that ran on NBC for 8 seasons starting from September 15, 1986 was both a critical and commercial success.
  • // 1990
    He regularly performed in the first 5 of 8 seasons of ‘L.A. Law’ and then made guest appearances in the 6th season featuring in overall 107 episodes of the series. His brilliant performance earned him the prestigious ‘Primetime Emmy Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’ in 1990.
  • // 1991
    In pursuit of focusing more on film career he quit ‘L.A. Law’ in 1991, but made guest appearances. However after playing leading roles in the 1991 films ‘Switch’ and ‘Fires Within’ which garnered little success, he came back to television in the following year with the documentary ‘The Broken Cord’.
  • // 9th May 1993
    He played Jim "Gard" Gardner, one of the two lead roles in Stephen King's ‘The Tommyknockers’ that released on May 9, 1993, marking his debut in television miniseries.
  • // 1994 To 1998
    In 1994 he landed up the role of Detective Bobby Simone in the police procedural drama television series ‘NYPD Blue’ and executed it regularly till 1998 starting from the 2nd to the 6th season and then guest appeared in the 12th one thus covering 90 episodes.
  • // 1996
    The part of Simone in ‘NYPD Blue’ emerged as one of his most memorable and acclaimed performances thus earning him both repute and fan base. It fetched him awards including ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for ‘Best Actor - Television Series Drama’ in 1996 apart from many Emmy nominations.
  • // 1997 To 2015
    He is quite committed to the Latino community. He co-founded ‘The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts’ in 1997 that aims at promoting Hispanic talents. His work for the community saw him being honoured with the ‘Ackerman Leadership Award’ in 2015.
  • // 1999
    The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) presented him the HOLA Award for Excellence in 1999.
  • // 2000
    Year 2000 saw him coming up with big screen flicks like ‘Adventures in Wild California’, ‘Price of Glory’, ‘The Million Dollar Hotel’ and ‘Bless the Child’.
  • // 2001
    Smits was arrested in 2001 for taking part in protests against bombing practices by the US Navy on Vieques, an island–municipality of Puerto Rico.
  • // 2002 To 2004
    While juggling with big and small screen roles he fanned his theatrical passion as and when possible. His onstage performances in the early 2000s included playing Duke Orsino in ‘Twelfth Night’ (2002) and Benedick in ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ (2004).
  • // 2014 To 2016
    Presently he features as Francisco "Papa Fuerte" Cruz in the musical drama television series, ‘The Get Down’ (since 2016) and as John Donovan in the television series ‘24: Legacy’, a spin-off of the 2014 action thriller television series ‘24’.

// Famous Hispanic Actors

Jimmy Smits's FAQ

  • What is Jimmy Smits birthday?

    Jimmy Smits was born at 1955-07-09

  • Where is Jimmy Smits's birth place?

    Jimmy Smits was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States

  • What is Jimmy Smits nationalities?

    Jimmy Smits's nationalities is American

  • Who is Jimmy Smits spouses?

    Jimmy Smits's spouses is Barbara Smits (1981–1987); Wanda De Jesus

  • Who is Jimmy Smits childrens?

    Jimmy Smits's childrens is Joaquin, Taina

  • What was Jimmy Smits universities?

    Jimmy Smits studied at Cornell University

  • What was Jimmy Smits notable alumnis?

    Jimmy Smits's notable alumnis is Cornell University

  • How tall is Jimmy Smits?

    Jimmy Smits's height is 191

  • Who is Jimmy Smits's father?

    Jimmy Smits's father is Cornelis Leendert Smits

  • Who is Jimmy Smits's mother?

    Jimmy Smits's mother is Emilina (née Pola)

  • What is Jimmy Smits's sun sign?

    Jimmy Smits is Cancer

  • How famous is Jimmy Smits?

    Jimmy Smits is famouse as Actor