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Héctor Elizondo (1936)

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  Summary  

Héctor Elizondo is an American actor. Elizondo's first major role was that of "God" in the play Steambath, for which he won an Obie Award. Since then Elizondo has participated in over eighty films and has made numerous television appearances, including his Emmy Award-winning role on the series Chicago Hope.

  Biography  

 early years
Elizondo was born in New York City, the son of Carmen Medina Reyes and Martín Echevarría Elizondo, a notary public and accountant. His parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York City, with the hope of finding a better way of life. His paternal grandfather was a Basque from Spain, and his maternal grandparents were from the Canary Islands.

At a young age, Elizondo demonstrated a talent in sports and music. He sang for the Frank Murray Boys' Choir when he was 10 years old. Upon graduating from Jr. High School in 1950, he enrolled in the High School of the Performing Arts. He also attended another public high school where he excelled in basketball and baseball. His baseball skills were good enough for him to be scouted by both the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1954, Elizondo enrolled in City College of New York, intending to become a history teacher. However, during his freshman year he became a father and dropped out of college, going to work full-time in order to support his family. Later, he divorced and gained full custody of his son, Rodd.

 career
From 1962 to 1963, Elizondo studied dance at the Ballet Arts Company at Carnegie Hall and in 1963 he landed parts in two Off-Broadway shows: Kill the One-Eyed Man and The Great White Hope. His first major success came when he played "God" in guise of a Puerto Rican steam room attendant in the play Steambath. Elizondo won an Obie award for his performance. Many of his roles involve playing a friend or sympathizer to the lead character. As a voice-actor, he played Bane, one of the more aggressively themed characters in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. In 1974, Elizondo played against type as ex-mafioso-turned-subway hijacker "Mr. Grey" in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Elizondo starred as a Puerto Rican widower on the CBS television series, Popi, which aired during the 1975-1976 television season. The short-lived series, which ran for eleven episodes, was one of the first American network television series to feature a Latino theme and cast.

In the 1980s, Elizondo befriended Garry Marshall; Marshall was impressed with his talent and it was to become a lifelong friendship, which would bring benefits for both. Their first movie together was Young Doctors in Love. In some of the movies in which Elizondo appeared, he went uncredited and he would not have minded staying that way for the movie Pretty Woman; however, it was Marshall who insisted on crediting him. His role in Pretty Woman only lasted 10 minutes, but it led to his receiving a Golden Globe nomination. In 1999, he guest-starred in Runaway Bride as "Fisher" the husband of the male protagonist's ex. Elizondo has participated in over 80 movies and 17 of them have been Marshall's. In fact, Elizondo has appeared in every movie that Marshall has directed.

In 2001, he was featured in the short-lived television drama Kate Brasher and portrayed security head Joe in the movie The Princess Diaries, a role he reprised in the 2004 sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

He is probably best known to the television audience as Dr. Phillip Watters on the CBS television series Chicago Hope created by well known television creator David E. Kelley. He has won both an Emmy and ALMA award and was nominated for a Satellite Award and several SAG Awards for playing this role. He is one of only two people to remain on the show for its entire run, the other being Adam Arkin.

On April 30, 2008, it was announced by USA Network that Elizondo would become Adrian Monk's new therapist, Dr. Neven Bell, on the award-winning series Monk. Elizondo replaced actor Stanley Kamel, who died suddenly on April 8, 2008.

 personal life
Elizondo has been married three times. He has a son from his first marriage. Since 1969 he has been married to Carolee Campbell, an Emmy Award winning actress, photographer and publisher. They live in Sherman Oaks, California.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Элизондо, Гектор", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.