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|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||July 9, 1955||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Brooklyn, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
Smits, along with comedian Paul Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez and legendary salsa singer Tito Nieves, are among the celebrity investors in The Conga Room, a Los Angeles dance club, lounge and restaurant showcasing Latino music on the Miracle Mile.
"I've been fortunate. I've always had teacher role models who kind of pointed me in the right direction. In junior high Rhoda Olanoff would do these lavish musicals. In high school there was a teacher who would take us to Broadway and Off-Broadway all the time. There was somebody in college who said I should continue on my path to graduate school. There was always somebody along the way to help cultivate the dream." --Jimmy Smits quoted in Daily News, November 13, 1994
"I never said I was leaving 'L.A. Law' to pursue a film career. You guys did, in the media. My contract was over and I just wanted to move on. It wasn't like I left with a three-picture deal in my back pocket. It was never about leaving 'L.A. Law' and becoming a giant movie star." --Smits quoted in TV Guide, November 12, 1994
About finding himself pigeonholed in Latino characters: "It's a fine line, and I have to deal with that all the time. I do want to be involved in quality projects that say something about the Latino community.
"But as an actor, you want to sell your versatility. One thing should go hand in hand with the other. We [Hispanic actors] want to play different roles, we want to be cast in different ethnicities and act in films about different historical times. I think that's good for us, in terms of non-traditional casting. And I don't see why, for the most part, I can't do that.
"I decide [on roles] on a project-by-project basis. Every actor has to deal with what's on his plate, and I try to deal with doing the best work possible with the most challenging scripts. I don't base it on whether it's a feature film, or a TV-movie, or cable." --Smits to Robert Dominguez for the Daily News, March 17, 1996
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