Hector Elizondo – Biography, Childhood, Movies And TV Shows

Considering the number of movies and television series that Hector Elizondo has graced with his presence, it would not be very far from the truth if you refer to him as one of the legends of Hollywood. Coupled with the fact that the iconic movie director Gary Marshall sees him as his good luck charm and featured him in many of his films, Hector has appeared in over 80 productions throughout his stellar acting career. The popular actor has received a good number of rewards in the form of prestigious awards and nominations in the entertainment industry.

Hector Elizondo – Biography, Childhood

Though his mum and dad were Puerto Ricans of Spanish origin, Hector Elizondo was born in New York on 22nd December 1936. Before his birth, his parents immigrated to New York in search of greener pastures, his parents’ professions were worlds apart from entertainment, his mom Carmen Medina Reyes worked in the legal profession as a notary public and his dad Martín Echevarría Elizondo functioned as an accountant. Hector spent his formative years in the Upper West Side with his sister Emma Elizondo.

His early years saw him demonstrating an inclination for music and sports, joining the Frank Murray Boys’ Choir as a singer at the age of 10. Upon his high school graduation in 1950, the emerging talent proceeded to the High School of the Performing Arts though reports claim that he was also a student at another public high school where he was a sports stand out in both baseball and basketball. Hector exhibited stellar prowess in both games which drew the attention of top-notch teams like Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, both of which scouted him during his years as a student. Nevertheless, his sporting career was put on hold by a knee injury which informed his switch to the performing arts.

The higher institution Hector Elizondo attended is listed as City College of New York where he enrolled in 1954 with the intention of joining the teaching profession as a history teacher. However, the task of becoming a father at an early age made him drop out as a freshman, going in search of employment to provide support for his young family. He later secured a divorce, gaining full custody of his son Rodd Elizondo in the process.

His skills in music led him to join a Latin band as a conga player, a singer, as well as a classical guitarist. He also worked short periods as a ballet dancer, a weightlifting coach and manager at a bodybuilding gym. Prior to his acting career, Hector was at Ballet Arts Company studying dance, he spent 1962 and 1963 taking acting roles at Stella Adler Theater Studio but his big break came with the Obie award he bagged for his role in the 1971 Steambath.

Just like many other celebs before him, Hector Elizondo has been slammed with a death hoax; the rumours about his ostensible death came to light through a Facebook account tagged RIP Hector Elizondo on the 20th of August 2018. The news which was dismissed as a hoax came to an end when an official confirmation from his rep attested to his good health and well being.

Read Also: Neal Bledsoe – Biography, Wife Or Girlfriend, Movies And TV Shows

Movies And TV Shows

Hector Elizondo
Hector with Chicago Hope cast members – image source

Though he is one of the big names in Hollywood today, Hector’s career did not start in a big way. Nevertheless, since his debut in the 1963 movie The Fat Black Pussycat, the prolific actor has appeared in more than 80 films, as well as television shows. The variety of his movie and TV credits are just too numerous to mention. From 1974 to the 90s, the actor played well-received roles in notable films including The Taking of Pelham One Two Three as a psychopathic killer, as Artur Willis in The Flamingo Kid, Necessary Roughness of 1991, and The Fan which cast him as a dogged detective.

Hector Elizondo has always been a favourite of the legendary movie director Gary Marshall who views him as his good luck charm. Gary’s special fondness for Hector led to him doing more than 12 movies with the iconic director which include Runaway Bride (1999), Pretty Woman (1990), The Princess Diaries (2001), as well as Dear God (1996).

Away from the big screen, Hector Elizondo has graced the cast of a lot of television series like Popi (1976), Chicago Hope (1994-2000) and Foley Square (1985-1986). His television credits are just too many but other notable ones are Kate Brasher, Last Man Standing and Miracles (2003).

Awards and nominations are part of the veteran actor’s career as he has recorded a total of 19 from his acting roles, notable among them are a couple of ALMA Awards, as well as Emmy Awards for his contributions in Chicago Hope. The role he portrayed in Pretty Woman made him a nominee for a Golden Globe Award.


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