Hector Elizondo Biography

(Known for His Roles in Series: ‘Chicago Hope’, ‘Last Man Standing’ and Films: 'Pretty Woman', 'The Princess Diaries')

Birthday: December 22, 1936 (Capricorn)

Born In: New York, New York, United States

Hector Elizondo is an award-winning American actor who has been entertaining his audiences since the early 1960s. Born into a family of first-generation Puerto Rican immigrants, he showed talent in music and sports from an early age, becoming a member of the Frank Murray Boys' Choir at the age of ten. His initial career ambition was to become a history teacher; however, an untimely marriage and unplanned fatherhood put an end to this dream, forcing him to drop out of college and start working odd jobs. After a few years, he studied dance and acting, eventually making his debut as an actor. As a stage actor, he tasted his first success with the off-Broadway production of ‘Steambath.’ On the big and small screens, he successfully became one of the first actors with a Latino background to have found acceptance. Today, he has over 80 films to his credit, and in spite of his advanced age, he is very active, currently starring in the television sitcom ‘Last Man Standing’.
Quick Facts

Age: 86 Years, 86 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Carolee Campbell (m. 1969), Marie Mandry (1963 - 1964), Marie Rivera (1956 - 1957)

father: Martín Echevarría Elizondo

mother: Carmen Medina Reyes

siblings: Emma Elizondo

children: Rodd Elizondo

Born Country: United States

Actors Voice Actors

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Ancestry: Puerto Rican American

Notable Alumni: City College Of New York

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: City College Of New York

Childhood & Early Life
Héctor Elizondo was born on December 22, 1936, in Harlem, New York City, USA. Both his father, Martín Echevarría Elizondo, a notary public and accountant, and his mother, Carmen Medina Reyes, had migrated from Puerto Rico to USA sometime in the early 1930s. He has a younger sister named Emma.
In 1950, he entered The High School of Music & Art, now known as Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Concurrently, he also attended regular high school, excelling in basketball and baseball, being scouted both by the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 1954, he entered City College of New York. But in that very year, he had to drop out of college to look after his wife and child, working full time, initially as a conga player, and later as a classical guitarist cum singer, a weightlifting coach, and a manager of a bodybuilding gym.
In 1962-63, he studied dance at the Ballet Arts Company at Carnegie Hall, eventually working as a ballet dancer. Also, during this period, he studied acting at Stella Adler Theatre Studio. When a knee injury put an end to his dancing career, he switched to theatre, initially working with repertory groups.
In 1963, Hector Elizondo debuted in films with ‘The Fat Black Pussy Cat’. Two years later, he debuted in off-Broadway productions, appearing in 'Kill the One-Eyed Man’. In 1967, he debuted on television with an unknown episode of ‘The Edge of Night’.
In 1970, he tasted his first major success, starring as “God” disguised as a Puerto Rican steam room attendant in the off-Broadway production of ‘Steambath’. Opening on June 30, 1970, it ran for 128 performances, eventually closing on October 18, 1970.
In 1971, he got his first starring role in a film, appearing as Vivian, a close aid of the lead character, in the black comedy drama film, ‘Born to Win’. Also, in the same year, he appeared in his first made-for-television film, ‘The Impatient Heart’.
In 1974, he got his next starring role in a film, appearing as Giuseppe Benvenuto a.k.a. Mr. Grey, in 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three'.
In 1975, he earned acclaim for his role of the murderer in the ‘A Case of Immunity’ episode of the TV series ‘Columbo’. In the following year, he got his first starring role on television, appearing as Abraham Rodriguez in all the eleven episodes of ‘Popi’.
In the 1980s, Elizondo did ten films, beginning the decade with ‘American Gigolo’, ending it with ‘Leviathan’. Appearing as Jesse Steinberg in fourteen episodes of ‘Foley Square’ (1985-86) and as Dave Whiteman in thirteen episodes of 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills' (1987) were some of his other significant works.
He opened the 1990s with Gary Marshall’s ‘Pretty Woman’, in which he appeared for ten minutes only, nonetheless receiving a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. Thereafter, he appeared in several more films, the significant ones among them being ‘Beverly Hills Cop III' (1994) and 'Runaway Bride' (1999).
In the 1990s, he appeared in numerous television series, the most significant among them being ‘Chicago Hope’, in which he appeared as Dr. Phillip Watters, one of the main characters, from 1994 to 2000.
As the new millennium set in, Elizondo continued to work, appearing in several movies, the last among them being ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (voice work, 2017). Equally active on television, he is currently portraying the role of Ed Alzate, one of the main characters, in ‘Last Man Standing’.
Recommended Lists:
Major Works
Hector Elizondo is best known for his role of Dr. Phillip Watters in ‘Chicago Hope’, a medical drama television series that ran on CBS from September 18, 1994 to May 4, 2000. Appearing in all of its 141 episodes, he received multiple award nominations for his performance, winning two of them.
Family & Personal Life
In 1956, while studying at City College of New York, Elizondo married Marie Rivera, having his only child, Rodd Elizondo, with her. The couple divorced in 1957. Later, he gained his son’s full custody.
In 1963, he married Marie Mandry. The couple divorced in the following year.
On April 13, 1969, he married his third wife, Carolee Campbell, an Emmy Award-winning actress, photographer, and publisher. The couple now lives in California.
Sometime in the early 1980s, while playing basketball, this actor met and befriended director Garry Marshall, eventually appearing in the director’s debut film, ‘Young Doctors in Love’ (1982).


Primetime Emmy Awards
1997 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Chicago Hope (1994)

See the events in life of Hector Elizondo in Chronological Order

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