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La Bamba Reunion

October 16, 2012

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La Bamba Reunion stars

Lou Diamond Phillips

Lou Diamond Phillips’ versatility has allowed him success in theatre, television and feature films as well as directing, writing and producing.  He currently appears in the hit A&E ensemble series Longmire, opposite Katee Sackhoff and Robert Taylor.

He will next be seen opposite Edward James Olmos in the feature film Filly Brown, which will be released in fall 2012.  The movie premiered to strong reviews at Sundance 2012.  Phillips first came to the public’s attention when he starred as Richie Valens in La Bamba.  He then solidified his reputation in Stand and Deliver, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and received a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination.  Phillips also co-starred in Ed Zwick’s critically acclaimed drama, Courage Under Fire, where he received strong reviews and a Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actor.  Recently he starred in CHE, alongside Benicio Del Toro and Benjamin Bratt.  Other notable film credits include Supernova, Hollywood Homicide, Young Guns, The Big Hit, Brokedown Palace and El Cortez.

Phillips earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor, for his performance as the King of Siam in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, which received six Tony nominations in all.  He recently starred in the national tour of Camelot, as King Arthur.

On television, Phillips had a popular guest-star arc on the fourth season of Southland, and earlier this year had a recurring role on ABC’s Cougar Town and the final season of the SyFy series Stargate: Universe alongside Robert Carlyle and Ming-Na. Lou also had a recurring role on the hit CBS series Numb3rs as “Agent Ian Edgerton” during its six year run. A few of his other memorable television credits include: Chuck, Psych, Law and Order: SVU, Wolf Lake, The Beast and The Triangle.

As a director, Phillips most recently helmed the Hallmark Channel movie Love Takes Wing in 2009.  He made his directorial debut with the psychological thriller Dangerous Touch, which he co-wrote for HBO.  Lou has also directed episodes of Resurrection Blvd., The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone.

Phillips, originally born in the Philippines, was raised in Texas.  He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Yvonne. He has four daughters Indigo, Grace, Isabella and Lili.

Esai Morales

For over three decades, award-winning actor Esai Morales has exhibited his outstanding talent on stage, in film and television respectively. Since his feature film debut in Bad Boys opposite Sean Penn, Morales has continuously offered performances that resonate in the hearts and minds of diverse and international audiences.

For three seasons, Morales led the famous squad room as Lieutenant Tony Rodriguez in the Emmy award-winning series NYPD Blue. He also recurred in Showtime’s Resurrection Blvd., PBS’s drama series American Family, FOX’s Vanished; and USA’s Burn Notice. In 2002, Morales was awarded the “Best Actor in a Television Series” at the prestigious Alma Awards and was honored with Entertainer of the Year at the 17th Annual Imagen Awards for his work on NYPD Blue, Resurrection Blvd, and American Family. Morales returned to primetime television as Major Beck on CBS’s resurrected drama Jericho. Following Jericho, Morales was cast as one of the leads of the SyFy series Caprica opposite Eric Stoltz. Most recently, Morales can be seen on USA’s Fairly Legal as the ruthless San Francisco D.A., Aaron Davidson.

In addition to his television roles, Morales recently starred as the iconic Fransico D’Anconia in the second installment of Ayn Rand’s classic, Atlas Shrugged: Part II. He also starred in and was an executive producer for the award-winning indie feature Gun Hill Road, which played to packed houses at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2009, Morales worked alongside Ray Liotta in James Cotton’s, The Line, and received an NAACP nomination for Lifetime’s We Have Your Husband. His other film credits include Fast Food Nation, The Virgin Of Juarez; and of course, La Bamba, which remains the most commercially successful Latino-themed motion picture and rock & roll biopic to date.

After attending New York’s prestigious High School for the Performing Arts, Morales made his stage debut in El Hermano at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. His other theatre credits include Joe Papp’s production of The Tempest with Raul Julia for New York’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival; Oscar Wilde’s Salome with Al Pacino at New York’s Circle in the Square Theater on Broadway; Tamer Of Horses for the Los Angeles Theater Center, for which he was awarded the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award; The Exonerated, directed by Bob Balaban; and the San Francisco run of the musical The Mambo Kings—Morales’ musical theater debut as Cesar Castillo.

A self-described “actorvist,” Morales has combined art and activism to build bridges of understanding within our diverse communities. Morales has helped advocate for countless charities and non-profit organizations that span everything from social to environmental and political issues. He co-found The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and is also a founding board member of the Earth Communications Office (E.C.O.), which is a clearinghouse for environmental information. In addition, he has been a nationael board member of the Screen Actors Guild for over a decade.

Morales presently resides in Los Angeles, CA with his family. 

Elizabeth Peña 

Elizabeth Peña is one of the most versatile actors working in Hollywood today. Switching from film to television with ease, Peña has always kept herself busy with one project after another, as she continues to receive critical acclaim in each role.

Peña’s big screen debut performances include the role of Carmen in Paul Mazursky's Down and Out in Beverly Hills and the jilted “Rosie” in La Bamba.  She then went on to star in Batteries Not Included, and Adrian Lyne’s Jacob's Ladder opposite Academy Award winner Tim Robbins. She also co-starred in Rush Hour with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, The Waterdance with Academy-Award winner Helen Hunt.  Peña had award winning turns  in John Sayle’s drama Lone Star, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award and a Bravo Award for Best Actress in a Film and she received an ALMA Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress” for her role in Tortilla Soup. Stepping out of her traditional tough exterior, Elizabeth received rave reviews as an innocent schoolteacher in this American remake of Ang Lee’s eat Drink Man Woman.

Peña garnered rave reviews for her role in the critically acclaimed independent feature Transamerica. She also appeared in Andy Garcia's directorial debut The Lost City.

More recently, Peña recently received recognition for her work in the feature How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer co-starring America Ferrera. She also starred opposite Alfred Molina and John Leguizamo in the feature Nothing Like the Holidays and the feature Mother and Child, starring Annette Bening. In addition to The Perfect Family, her most recent films include Becoming Eduardo.

On television, Elizabeth most recently appeared in a recurring role on Shonda Rhimes’ ABC series Off the Map. Peña starred in the Lifetime made for TV movie Racing for Time, directed by Charles Dutton. She also garnered rave reviews for the CBS telefilm Suburban Madness. For three seasons, Elizabeth starred in Showtime’s award winning drama Resurrection Boulevard. She received the ALMA Award in 2001 for “Best Actress in a New Series” for her role as Bibi.

Peña has a successful voiceover career as well. She can be heard in the cartoon The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel on PBS. She also lent her voice as the seductive hero/villain ‘Mirage’ in Pixar’s blockbuster hit The Incredibles.

Peña has demonstrated her ability to perform behind the camera when she directed an episode of Resurrection Boulevard. She followed with another directing stint on Nickelodeon’s The Brothers Garcia. Peña joined the Director’s Guild of America, becoming only the fourth Latina member of the union at that time.