I was first introduced to Edward James Olmos in school when for class we watched him play Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver. I definately enjoyed his work in that movie as he delievered a moving, commanding presence (as he has done in much of his work). From their I saw him in other movies such as the cult-classic Blade Runner, and in 1997's Selena. In many ways, I feel that his performance in Selena outshined that of the movie's star, Jennifer Lopez. Olmos seems to have a knack for playing characters that are in positions of authority, mentorship or inspiration. I have greatly enjoyed his portrayal of Commander Adama on Battlestar Galactica. His commanding presence is a crucial factor to the series and he plays his part with his usual flawless skill and conviction. Indeed, it feels as if the role was custom made with him in mind and suits him perfectly.
Even if you haven't seen Olmos' work, you have to admire this man for his humanitarian efforts. Some may not agree with his politics at times, like when he was arrested during the protest of a Naval bomb testing site in 2000, but still his compassion and love of his people and those in need is unwaivering. He has taken steps to further the position of Latino artists by founding Latino Public Broadcasting in 1998. He as also served as an international advocate and spokesperson for organizations such as UNICEF, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Aids Awareness Foundation. He is a champion of the Latino people and a champion of human rights.