Award-winning actor Esai Morales continues to lend his outstanding talents to television, theater and film. Since his feature film debut in "Bad Boys" in 1983, Morales has been consistently recognized for giving performances that strongly resonate in the hearts and minds of audiences.
After graduating from New York's High School for the Performing Arts, Esai made his stage debut in "El Hermano." His other theater performances include "Salome" and "The Tempest" amongst others. It wasn't long before his focus on theater expanded to the small screen.
For three seasons, Morales played Lieutenant Tony Rodriguez in the Emmy Award-winning series "NYPD Blue." He also starred in Showtime's "Resurrection Blvd.," PBS' drama series "American Family," FOX's "Vanished" and USA's "Burn Notice." In 2002, Morales was awarded "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." He also received an Imagen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his work in "American Family." Esai appeared on Syfy's hit series "Caprica" as series regular Joseph Adama. In 2011, Morales was cast as the lead of "17th Precinct."
Morales starred in the award-winning indie film, "American Fusion," followed by the James Cotton film, "La Linea," opposite Ray Liotta. He can also be seen in "Kill Kill Faster Faster," "Fast Food Nation," "The Virgin Of Juarez" and "La Bamba," which remains the most commercially successful Latino-themed motion picture to date. He received critical acclaim for his roles in the films "Rapa Nui" and "Mi Familia."
Esai's most recent film credit is the lead in "Gun Hill Road," a poignant project that made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to debuting in Park City, the film was named recipient of the 2009 Princess Grace Foundation Award and the 2009 Spike Lee Fellowship and won Best Film and Best Actor for Esai at the 26th Annual Imagen Awards.
A self-described "actorvist," Morales is involved in charities and non-profit organizations like the National Hispanic Foundation, which he co-founded with actors Jimmy Smits and Sonia Braga, which works to advance the presence and quality of Latinos in media, telecommunications and entertainment. He is also a founding board member of the Earth Communications Office (E.C.O.), and he is a national board member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Esai can be seen in early 2012 in upcoming episodes of "Fairly Legal" and "Law and Order: SVU."