Proving that versatility is as important as skill in the acting profession, Jimmy Smits has built a career that allows him to move effortlessly between film, television and stage.
The Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actor turned heads once again as Neron ‘Nero’ Padilla in Season 6 of the critically acclaimed FX show Sons of Anarchy. Introduced in Season 5 as a Latino gangbanger with an exit strategy, his dark side continued to emerge, proving to be a dangerous mentor for Jax (Charlie Hunnam).
In 2010, Smits starred in the NBC drama Outlaw, portraying Supreme Court Justice Cyrus Garza, a playboy and risk-taker who always adhered to a strict interpretation of the law until he realizes the system he believed in was flawed. Smits also served as an executive producer on the show. He also co-starred in Mother and Child, directed by Rodrigo Garcia and starring Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson and Naomi Watts.
He received six consecutive Emmy® nominations for his role as Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law, winning the Emmy® in 1990, and also five Emmy® nominations for his role as Bobby Simone on the critically acclaimed, Emmy®-winning drama, NYPD Blue. Additionally, he received an ALMA Award and an Imagen Award for Best Actor on The West Wing, has four Golden Globe® nominations - winning as an Actor in a Leading Role, Drama Series, in 1995 for his role on NYPD Blue - and four SAG Award nominations. His highly touted departure from NYPD Blue also won him the Humanitas Award.
Smits’ filmography includes such early works as Peter Hyams’ Running Scared with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal; John Schlesinger’s The Believers; Old Gringo with Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda; Blake Edwards’ comedy Switch; the critically acclaimed My Family (Mi Familia), directed by Gregory Nava, for which he received an IFP Spirit Award nomination; Carlos Ávila’s Price of Glory; Chuck Russell’s thriller Bless the Child; George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith; Robin Swicord’s The Jane Austen Book Club and El Traspatio, directed by Carlos Carrera.
Smits has involved himself in various charitable organizations over the years and has consistently been a strong advocate for education. In 1997, he co-founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), along with actors Esai Morales and Sonia Braga and Washington attorney Felix Sanchez, to promote Hispanic talent in the performing arts. The organization offers graduate scholarships and cash grants at prominent colleges and universities in order to expand career opportunities and increase access for Hispanic artists and professionals while fostering the emergence of new Hispanic talent.