Lou Diamond Phillips Biography

(Actor and Director Known for His Role as ‘Ritchie Valens’ in the Biopic ‘La Bamba’)

Birthday: February 17, 1962 (Aquarius)

Born In: U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines

Lou Diamond Phillips is an American actor and director best known for his performances in the films ‘Young Guns’, ‘La Bamba’ and ‘Stand and Deliver’. He was born in Philippines and was raised in Texas. Lou completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama and was active in theatre even after college. He appeared in a number of productions at Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas. He debuted in film with a low budget film ‘Trespasses’ and became a popular young star of Hollywood with ‘La Bamba’. He gave consecutive hits with ‘Stand and Deliver’ and ‘Young Guns’ and won his first award for his supporting act in the film ‘Stand and Deliver’. Lou has been married thrice and has three daughters and one daughter from his second and third marriage respectively. Phillips is an outspoken activist of Filipino Equity Act to grant equal benefits to the World War II veterans of Philippines as applicable to US veterans. He is also a strong supporter of Thoughtful House Center for Children, a not for profit organization which was founded by British physician and researcher, Andrew Wakefield.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Lou Diamond Upchurch

Age: 62 Years, 62 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Yvonne Boismier Phillips (m. 2007), Julie Cypher (m. 1987–1990), Kelly Phillips (m. 1994–2007)

children: Grace Moorea Phillips, Indigo Sanara Phillips, Isabella Patricia Phillips, Lili Jordan Phillips

Born Country: Philippines

Quotes By Lou Diamond Phillips Actors

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Notable Alumni: University Of Texas At Arlington

Ancestry: Spanish American, Chinese Australian, Filipino American

More Facts

education: University Of Texas At Arlington

Childhood & Early Life
Lou Diamond Phillips was born on February 17th, 1962, to Lucita Umayam Arañas and Gerald Amon Upchurch in Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines. His father was a crew chief in the U.S. Marine Corps. After his father’s death, Lou was adopted by his mother’s second husband and he took his surname, Phillips.
He was raised in Texas and attended Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi. He graduated in 1980 from University of Texas at Arlington with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama. He was involved in theatre even after college and appeared in numerous productions in the Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Lou Diamond Phillips made his Hollywood debut with a low budget film, ‘Trespasses’ in 1986. He rose to fame with ‘La Bamba’ in 1987. He portrayed Bobby Diaz in an episode of ‘Miami Vice’ in 1987.
He played the role of John Dakota in ‘Dakota’ (1988) and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance in an inner-city high school drama, ‘Stand and Deliver’ in 1988. His performance in his next release, ‘Young Guns’, (1988) was widely appreciated and the film was a commercial hit.
He starred in a couple of movies in 1989 viz. ‘Disorganized Crime’ and ‘Renegades’. He also acted in a short film, ‘Arduous Moon’ in 1990 followed by a sequel of ‘Young Guns’ titled as ‘Young Guns II’ in 1990.
He acted in ‘A Show of Force’, ‘The First power’, and ‘Demon Wind’ in 1990 followed by ‘The Dark Wind’ in 1991. He also appeared in one episode each of the television series, ‘The General Motors Playwrights Theater’ and ‘Sesame Street’ in 1991.
After 1990s, he faced tough time in terms of a commercial success and gave a series of mediocre films like ‘Harley’ (1991), ‘Shadow of the Wolf’ (1992) and ‘Sioux City’ (1994). In between, he appeared in one episode each of the TV series ‘Tales from The Crypt’ and ‘The Untold West’ along with the film ‘Extreme Justice’ in 1993.
Apart from being an actor, Lou Diamond Phillips was also a vocalist with the Los Angeles-based rock group ‘The Pipefitters’ in mid-90s. He gave his next commercial success with his film ‘Courage Under Fire’ in 1996.
He made his Broadway debut in 1996 with ‘The King and I’ and his performance was critically acclaimed. He played the supporting role of Cisco in the comedy action film, ‘The Big Hit’ in 1998.
He had a minor role in the movies ‘Bats’ (1999), ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ (2000), ‘Supernova’ (2000), ‘A Better Way to Die’ (2000), ‘Knight Club’ (2001) and ‘Route 666’ (2001). He also appeared in a couple of episodes of popular TV series ‘24’ in 2002.
Phillips starred in four episodes of ‘The Twilight Zone’ in 2002 and played a minor role in TV sitcom ‘George Lopez’ from 2002-2004. He appeared in television movies ‘Murder at the Presidio’ and ‘Gone, But Not Forgotten’ in 2005.
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He had a recurring role in the TV series ‘Numb3rs’ (2005-2010) and appeared in three episodes of a mini-series ‘The Triangle’ in 2005. He joined the touring troupe for Lerner and Loewe's ‘Camelot’ in the role of King Arthur in September, 2007.
Phillips participated in Food Network reality series, ‘Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off’ in 2012 and was announced as the winner of the same. He won $50,000 for his charity.
He acted in 43 episodes of ‘Longmire’ from 2012-15 and appeared as star of the comedy short film ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamond’ in 2013.
Phillips guest starred in ‘The Wiggles Rock and Roll PreSchool’ DVD in 2014. He portrayed serial killer in television movie ‘The Night Stalker’ in 2016.
Major Works
Lou Diamond Phillips is best known for his supporting role in the film ‘Stand and Deliver’ in 1988. He received Golden Globe Awards nomination and won Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance.
His performance in the film ‘Young Guns’ was also critically and commercially acclaimed.
His Broadway debut, ‘The King and I’ in 1996 was a big success and he won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance.
Awards & Achievements
Lou Diamond Phillips won Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male and was nominated for Golden Globe Award in 1988 for his performance in ‘Stand and Deliver’. He won Western Heritage Award Bronze Wrangler Theatrical Motion Picture for ‘Young Guns’ in 1988.
He won Oxfam America award for his dedication toward ending world hunger in 1993.
He was nominated for Tony Award for Best Actor on Broadway and won Theater World Award along with New York Outer Critics Circle: Outstanding Broadway Debut Award in 1996 for ‘The King and I’.
He won Blockbuster Entertainment Award and Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Courage Under Fire’ in 1997.
Personal Life & Legacy
Lou Diamond Phillips married his first wife, Julie Cypher on September 17, 1987 and divorced on August 5, 1990. Julie later announced that she was a lesbian and partnered with Melissa Etheridge.
He had a brief affair with Jennifer Tilly and married his second wife, Kelly Phillips in 1994. The couple have three daughters, Grace and Isabella (twins born in October 1997), and Lili, born in September 1999. The couple separated in 2004 and divorced in 2007.
He married his third wife, Yvonne Boismier, in 2007 and the couple has a daughter, Indigo.

Lou Diamond Phillips Movies

1. Stand and Deliver (1988)


2. La Bamba (1987)

  (Music, Drama, Biography)

3. Young Guns (1988)

  (Thriller, Western, Drama, Crime, Action)

4. Che: Part Two (2008)

  (War, History, Biography, Drama)

5. The 33 (2015)

  (Biography, Drama, History)

6. Young Guns II (1990)

  (Action, Western)

7. Courage Under Fire (1996)

  (War, Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Action)

8. Adverse (2021)

  (Crime, Thriller)

9. Disorganized Crime (1989)

  (Action, Comedy, Crime)

10. Brokedown Palace (1999)

  (Thriller, Drama, Mystery)

See the events in life of Lou Diamond Phillips in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Lou Diamond Phillips Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com

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