Jimmy Smits stars in the new NBC drama “Bluff City Law” as renowned attorney Elijah Strait.
Smits is an Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, activist, philanthropist, producer, and entrepreneur whose outstanding career spans more than three decades. He has appeared in some of the most popular films, plays, and television shows in history, including the “Star Wars” franchise, “Anna in the Tropics,” “L.A. Law,” “NYPD Blue,” “The West Wing” and “Sons of Anarchy.”
Smits has enjoyed an exemplary career in stage, film and television, having earned more than 40 award nominations. He received six consecutive Emmy nominations, winning in 1990, for his role as Victor Sifuentes on the multi-award-winning drama “L.A. Law.” He also received a Golden Globe Award and five consecutive Emmy nominations for his role as Bobby Simone on the critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning drama “NYPD Blue,” and earned an Emmy nomination for his guest star arc in season three of Showtime’s hit series “Dexter.” He has been nominated for 13 SAG Awards, receiving the honor in 1995 for “NYPD Blue.” Additionally, he has garnered three ALMA Awards.
Most recently he appeared in a season-long guest arc opposite Viola Davis on “How to Get Away With Murder.” Prior to that he co-starred in both Fox’s “24: Legacy,” in Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix music-driven drama “The Get Down” as well as a guest role in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
In 2008, Smits’ El Sendero Productions co-executive produced the CBS series “Cane,” in which he also starred. He also narrated the PBS documentary series “Latin Music USA” and co-starred in HBO’s multiple award-winning television movie “Lackawanna Blues,” George C. Wolfe’s colorful tale of boarding house life, love and blues in 1950’s New York.
Smits’ filmography includes the indie film “Who We Are Now;” “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” “Running Scared,” “Switch,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Old Gringo” and “My Family/Mi Familia,” for which he received an IFP Spirit Award nomination.
On the stage Smits appeared in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s hit play “Motherf**ker With the Hat” at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, on Broadway in the 2009 critically acclaimed hit “God of Carnage” and originated the role of the Lector in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Anna in the Tropics” in 2004. Besides work in regional theatre he is most proud of his long-time connection with the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre where he obtained his Actors’ Equity card, worked on numerous plays and readings over the years both downtown and at the Delacorte, and served for a time on the board.
Smits has involved himself in various charitable organizations over the years, such as Stand Up 2 Cancer, the Los Angeles Free Clinic, Homeboys and St. Jude’s Hospital for Children. He has consistently been a strong advocate for education and co-founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) in 1997 along with actors Esai Morales and Sonia Braga and Washington attorney Felix Sanchez to promote Hispanic talent in the performing arts.