Actor Esai Morales

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 15, 2002

My husband and I think Esai Morales is very talented. We're glad he's in the new PBS series American Family. Can you tell us all you can about him?
—Chris and Jenny K., Mississippi

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., of Puerto Rican heritage, Esai Morales decided he wanted to act at age 12 after seeing Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. He attended the renowned High School of the Performing Arts. His mother was a union organizer who passed on a passion for political activism to her son. The 40-year-old bachelor, who also has a recurring role on ABC's NYPD Blue, founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts with fellow actors Jimmy Smits and Sonia Braga. The nonprofit group works to increase the number of Latinos in the entertainment business. Morales has worked steadily in theater, film, and television in a variety of roles: from Shakespeare on stage to roles in Bad Boys, La Bamba, Rapa Nui, and The Elian Gonzalez Story. He lives in Los Angeles.