October 13, 95

Vol. 11 , No. 01   


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We're All in the Same Gang
EDWARD JAMES OLMOS
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1995

According to Edward James Olmos, "Education is the vaccine for violence." For much of his career, this acclaimed actor and director has distinguished himself as a community activist who advocates racial unity and harmony. Olmos was one of the first public figures to lead the clean-up effort of looted and firebombed neighborhoods in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Through his Hollywood success and vocal activism, he has become recognized as one of the most prominent Latinos in the United States.

Olmos's life is reminiscent of a Horatio Alger story. Having escaped the violent gang life of East Los Angeles through education and work, he became a Golden State Batting Champ and a singer with Eddie and The Pacific Ocean, a local rock group. Olmos later struggled for several years, with small roles in shows such as Kojak and Hawaii Five-0. However, his meteoric rise began when he starred in the Luis Valdez musical Zoot Suit (1978). For his performance Olmos earned the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, a Theatre World award, and a Tony nomination.

After appearing in the film version of Zoot Suit (1982), Olmos was featured in Wolfen (1981), Virus (1980), and Blade Runner (1982). He also starred and associate produced The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), which is considered by the American Historical Society to be one of the most authentic westerns in film history. For his television role as Lieutenant Castillo on Miami Vice (1984-1989), Olmos won Emmy and Golden Globe awards. His versatility as an actor is showcased by his other celebrated film credits, including Stand and Deliver (1988), American Me (1992), and Mi Familia/ My Family (1995).

The Athenaeum invites you to attend the presentation by this renowned actor and humanitarian as the first speaker of the 1995-1996 academic year. Olmos's visit to the Athenaeum is partly funded by a gift from CMC alumnus Tom Sandoval '94 and is the first in the series Politics and Culture in the Latino Community.

Due to the popularity of this event, dinner reservations are for Claremont McKenna College only. The lecture at 6:45 p.m. in McKenna Auditorium is open to all.