Jimmy is a supporter of the fundraising campaign for the Hangar Theatre known as A Hangar for All Seasons, where he spent time in 1990s.
Active in Hispanic causes, Jimmy was once arrested for protesting about U.S. Navy bombing practices in Vieques, a Puerto Rican island.
In early 2008, Jimmy narrated a documentary about Roberto Clemente, the first great Latino baseball player.
While starring in LA Law, Jimmy appeared in 4 public service announcements for NBC's The More You Know. His topics were substance abuse, parental involvement, a teacher tribute, and prenatal substance abuse.
In 1986, Jimmy Smits made his film debut in movie Running Scared.
At the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1982, Jimmy Smits made his Off-Broadway debut in Hamlet.
Jimmy Smits appeared in HBO's movie Lackawanna Blues.
Jimmy Smits is a founding member of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
Jimmy Smits has given up two lead roles that later went to David Caruso. Jimmy was given the opportunity to play the lead roles in NYPD Blue and CSI: Miami. However, after Caruso left NYPD Blue, Jimmy was again offered a role and this time he took it.
Jimmy was one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive, 2006. He is found in the "Sexy Men with Glasses" section.
Jimmy's first TV job was on Pee Wee's Playhouse.
In high school, Jimmy dropped out of football to focus on acting.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for LA Law (1991) (Nomination).
Best Television Actor in a Drama for NYPD Blue (1996 - Won) (1997, 1999 - Nomination).
Golden Satellite Award
Best Actor in a Television Series for NYPD Blue (1997) (Won).
The episode of NYPD Blue that marked Jimmy's last appearance received this for 'the dignity of the character's exit' (Won).
(Honouring the Best in Hispanic Cinema and Television)
Best Series for The West Wing based on Jimmy's portrayal of a presidential candidate (2006) (Won).
Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination in 1995.
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series for NYPD Blue (1994 - Won) (1995-1999 - Nomination).
Viewers for Quality Television Awards
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for LA Law (1990) (Won).
Jimmy was named as "King of Brooklyn" at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival in 1991.
Jimmy is 6'3" tall.
(on being a role-model for young Hispanics)
Jimmy: The media can really influence the way people think-and, ultimately, how minorities are perceived. If you have a person who is a lawyer or presidential candidate on television, and you've only seen people like you portrayed as maids or gardeners … that can help a young person broaden their horizons.
(on why his National Hispanic Foundation focuses on education)
Jimmy: I am a firm believer in education and have worked very hard to tell young Latinos that they must go to college and that, if possible, they should pursue an advanced degree-be that in the arts, in law, in medicine, in business or whatever their area of interest. I am convinced that education is the great equalizer.
(on why he likes working in television serials)
Jimmy: The great thing about series television is that it's very fluid and there are a lot of things that come into play that will effect and change things down the line. On a week-to-week basis, as the writers are looking at the dailies, certain relationships pop. And then the audience factor comes into play.
(on his Catholicism)
Jimmy: I have a strong sense of ... spirituality more than anything. I miss the ritual of the Mass... It feels comfortable when I'm there, with all its contradictions ... And maybe because there's a theatricality to it, too. At its root, it's kind of ... the retelling of what the foundation of the belief is, the ritual of the mass. It feels good. I feel peaceful when I'm there.
Jimmy: All I can do is walk through this life and my career with the integrity that I have tried to amass in the little work that I've done.
(on whether he would ever do full-frontal nudity)
Jimmy: It would depend, as it does with my rear, on the situation, the character and the dynamics of the scene. But I don't think I would have much of a problem. However, I don't think my significant other would go for it. We'd have to do a lot of talking about it.
(on the price of fame)
Jimmy: The most obvious thing that comes to mind is the loss of one's privacy. Your life becomes an open book, but I've found ways to adapt. It's tough. The price is also the sacrifices you have to make for your career. It can be all-consuming. Unfortunately, it's a very me-oriented business.
(on whether or not he is a role model for Hispanics)
Jimmy: Change is very hard to effect. In America particularly, change only comes out of money. People don't wake up and say, 'Our country embraces so many cultures!' Instead, it's corporations who go 'Hey, look at that market out there!' But that's OK. You just take that and you use it. It's a ripe time to implement change. And I'm in there trying; that's all I can say.
(on why he is involved with the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts)
Jimmy: I think for most actors, there is a tremendous need to give back to the community at large and for me, giving back to my community was a concept ingrained in me by my parents.
(comparing "The West Wing" to the Presidential race in 2008)
Jimmy: I'm just happy that in the whole framework of art imitates life, or maybe life should be imitating art, there is this kind of move towards inclusiveness with regards to women ascending to higher office, people of color into higher realms of office.