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Elizondo at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
||December 22, 1936
New York City, New York, U.S.
||Carolee Campbell (m. 1969–present)
Héctor Elizondo (born December 22, 1936) is an American actor. Born in New York, Elizondo excelled in sports and later contemplated becoming an educator. Elizondo's first major role was that of "God" in a play 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.
Elizondo was born in New York City, the son of Carmen Medina Reyes, from Puerto Rico, and Martin Echevarria Elizondo, a Basque. His parents moved to New York City, like many other Hispanics at the time, with the hope of finding a better way of life. 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 1951, he enrolled in the High School of the Performing Arts; he also attended a regular 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, with the intention of becoming a history teacher. During his freshman year he became a father and dropped out of College and went to work full-time in order to support his family. Later, he was divorced and gained full custody of his son, Rodd.
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. Elizondo has participated in over 80 movies and 12 of them have been Marshall's. In 1999, he guest-starred in Runaway Bride as "Fisher" the husband of the male protagonist's ex.
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 will become Adrian Monk's new therapist, Dr. Neven Bell, on their award-winning series Monk. Elizondo replaced actor Stanley Kamel, who died suddenly on April 8, 2008.
Elizondo has been married three times. He has a son from his first marriage. Elizondo is currently married to Carolee Campbell, his wife since 1969, an Emmy-Award winning actress, photographer and celebrated publisher; the two live in Sherman Oaks, California.
Awards and nominations
- 1998: Nominated, "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Television Series in a Crossover Role" - Chicago Hope
- 1998: Nominated, "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Television Series in a Crossover Role" - Turbulence
- 1998: Won, "Outstanding Actor in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series" - Borrowed Hearts
- 1999: Nominated, "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Television Series in a Crossover Role" - Chicago Hope
- 2000: Nominated, "Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film" - Runaway Bride
- 2000: Won, "Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 2002: Nominated, "Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture" - Tortilla Soup
- 1992: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special" - Mrs. Cage
- 1995: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1996: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1997: Won, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1998: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
Golden Globe Awards
- 1991: Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" - Pretty Woman
Imagen Foundation Awards
- 2005: Nominated, "Best Supporting Actor in a Film" - The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
NCLR Bravo Awards
- 1996: Nominated, "Outstanding Television Series Actor in a Crossover Role" - Chicago Hope
- 1997: Nominated, "Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1995: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1997: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
- 1998: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" - Chicago Hope
Temecula Valley International Film Festival
- 2006: Won, "Lifetime Achievement Award"