Who is Héctor Elizondo?

American actor Héctor Elizondo was born in New York City USA on 22 December 1936, making Capricorn his zodiac sign. He has over 160 acting creditsm, but is perhaps still known best for playing Barney Thompson in the 1990 romantic comedy movie “Pretty Woman”, which starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and was directed by Garry Marshall. It follows a businessman who’s hired a prostitute as his escort for a social event, and has now fallen in love with her; the movie won eight of its 19 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julia Roberts).

Héctor’s currently shooting for the upcoming movies “Max & Me” and “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie”.

Education and early life

Héctor was raised in New York City alongside his sister Emma Elizondo, by their Puerto Rican parents of Spanish descent Martin Echevarria Elizondo and Carmen Medina Reyes, who had moved from Puerto Rico to New York City prior to Héctor’s birth, in search of a better life.

Héctor became interested in music and sports at a very early age, and was 10 when he joined the Frank Murray Boys’ Choir. He enrolled at High School of the Performing Arts in 1950, wanting to hone his acting and singing skills, while he also attended another high school at which he played basketball but excelled in baseball, and was scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB).

He matriculated in 1954, and continued his education at City College of New York, wanting to become a history teacher; because he had become a father, Héctor dropped out of college and found work to financially support himself, his wife and their son.

Roles in movies

Héctor’s debut film appearance was in the 1963 crime horror “The Fat Black Pussycat”, and some of his following roles were in the 1969 drama “The Vixens”, the 1970 romantic comedy “The Landlord” and the 1971 western “Valdez is Coming”.

Also in 1971, he played Vivian in the crime comedy “Born to Win”, which starred Paula Prentiss and George Segal, and was written and directed by Ivan Passer; it follows the life of con artist J. J. Some of Héctor’s following roles were in the 1972 comedy “Stand Up and Be Counted”, the 1974 crime action thriller “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and the 1975 crime action “Report to the Commissioner”. What marked the ‘70s for him was perhaps playing Sunday in the 1980 crime mystery “American Gigolo”, which starred Lauren Hutton and Richard Gere, and was written and directed by Paul Schrader. It follows a male escort from Los Angeles, California who’s been accused of murder; the film was nominated for two awards.

Héctor started off the ‘80s by appearing in the 1981 horror thriller “The Fan”, in 1982 the comedy “Young Doctors in Love” and the drama “Honeyboy”, and the year 1985 saw him play The Maestro in the comedy “Private Resort”, which starred Johnny Depp and Rob Morrow, and was directed by George Bowers; it follows two young men who are staying at a Florida resort, with their only interest is chasing girls. Some of Héctor’s other notable performances in the ‘80s were in the 1985 crime thriller “Out of the Darkness”, the 1986 romantic comedy “Nothing in Common”, and the 1989 comedy “Your Mother Wears Combat Boots”.

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What marked the ‘90s for Héctor was probably playing Jon Flint in the 1994 crime action comedy “Beverly Hills Cop III”, which starred Jon Tenny and Eddie Murphy, and was directed by John Landis. It follows a police officer as he’s investigating the murder of his boss, and the movie was nominated for three awards. Some of his other notable performances were in the 1994 crime mystery “Perfect Alibi”, the 1997 action thriller “Turbulence”, and the 1999 romantic comedy “Runaway Bride”.

In 2001, he played Joe in the hit romantic family comedy “The Princess Diaries”, which starred Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, and was directed by Garry Marshall. It follows 16-year-old Mia Thermopolis who’s just learned that she’s the heir to the throne of Genovia, and the film won three of its 14 award nominations. Héctor was then cast to appear in the 2003 comedy “Frankie and Johnny Are Married”,, the 2006 adventure “The Celestine Prophecy”, and the 2010 romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day”.

He voiced one of the lead characters, Jim Gordon in the 2017 animated action adventure “The Lego Batman Movie”, which starred Michael Cera and Will Arnett, and was directed by Chris McKay. It follows Bruce Wayne aka Batman as he’s protecting Gotham City, and the film won 13 of its 81 award nominations.

Some of Héctor’s most recent film roles have been in the 2018 comedy “Guess Who Died”, the 2020 music video “Sia: Together”, and the 2021 drama “Music”.

Roles in TV series

Héctor’s debut TV series role was playing Vicento in a 1966 episode of the crime mystery “The Edge of Night”, and from 1968 through 1970, he played John Colley in eight episodes of the romantic drama “The Doctors”, which starred David O’Brien and James Pritchett, and aired its 4,500 episodes from 1963 through 1982. The soap opera follows the life of Dr. Matt Powers, who’s the head of Hope Memorial Hospital, and it won four of its 23 award nominations.

The ‘70s saw Héctor appear in an episode of a couple of series, including the comedy “All in the Family”, another comedy “Maude” and the crime mystery “Columbo”; what marked the decade for him was portraying the lead character Abraham Rodriguez in all 11 episodes of the 1975 comedy “Popi”, which also starred Dennis Vasquez and Anthony Perez, and was created by Tina Pine and Lester Pine. It follows the life of a single Puerto Rican father of three.

In 1985 and 1986, Héctor starred as D. A. Jesse Steinberg in all 14 episodes of the comedy “Foley Square”, which also starred Margaret Colin and Michael Lembeck, and was created by Diane English; it follows the lives of District Attorney Alex Harrigan and her boss Jesse Steinberg. The remainder of the ‘80s saw Héctor appear in an episode of the adventure comedy “Amazing Stories”, the crime mystery “Matlock” and the crime drama “Night Heat”.

From 1994 through 2000, he played one of the main characters, Dr. Phillip Watters in all 141 episodes of the mystery thriller “Chicago Hope”, which also starred Adam Arkin and Mandy Patinkin, and was created by David E. Kelley. It follows the people working at a hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and the series won 24 of the 132 awards for which it was nominated.

Some of Héctor’s most notable performances in the 2000s were in all nine episodes of the 2004 science fiction “Century City”, 13 episodes of the 2007 drama “Cane”, and 14 episodes of the 2008 crime comedy “Monk”.

From 2011 through 2021, he starred as Ed Alzate in all 194 episodes of the critically acclaimed comedy “Last Man Standing”, which starred Nancy Travis and Tim Allen, and was created by Jack Burditt. It follows the life of a married father of three, and the series won five of its 19 award nominations.

Some of Héctor’s most recent TV series roles have been in 14 episodes of the 2021 comedy “B Positive”, six episodes of the 2022 animated adventure comedy “Green Eggs and Ham” (voice role), and the 2023 episode “Ruins of War” of the animated action adventure “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” (voice role).

Other credits

Héctor produced the 2006 comedy movie “I-See-You.com” and the 2019 drama movie “Know Your Enemy”.

He received special thanks for the 2009 adventure family comedy movie “The Gold & the Beautiful”, the 2020 short documentary film “Suppressed: The Fight to Vote”, and also in 2020 for the short documentary movie “Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem”.

Some of Héctor’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Movies That Made Us”, “Explained” and “The Talk”.

Awards and nominations

Héctor’s won five of his 29 award nominations, with some of his wins including a 1997 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for “Chicago Hope”, a 2006 Temecula Valley International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, and a 2010 Prism Award for Performance in a Comedy Series, for “Monk”.

He was also nominated for a 1991 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, for “Pretty Woman”.

Love life and marriages

Héctor’s married thrice. His first wife was non-celebrity American Marie Rivera, whom he married aged 19 in 1956; she gave birth to their son Rodd on 5 September of the same year, and he died aged 60 in 2017; Héctor and Marie had divorced in 1957.

His second wife was non-celebrity American Marie Mandry; they exchanged vows in 1963, but again he divorced in the following year.

Since 13 April 1969, Héctor’s been married to former actress Carolee Campbell; she appeared in 1,753 episodes of the soap opera “The Doctors” from 1967 through 1976.

There are no other women whom Héctor’s been with, that we know about; he’s married to his third wife Carolee Campbell as of July 2023, and he had a son (deceased) with his first wife Marie Rivera.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Héctor loves to read books, and he took part in the 2013 Festival of Books, organized by the daily newspaper “Los Angeles Times” at the University of Southern California.

He wasn’t the producers’ original choice for his role in “Pretty Woman”, but was cast after Al Pacino had turned it down.

Héctor’s an avid guitarist, and can also sing.

He’s the only surviving cast member of the 1974 movie “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three”.

Héctor’s two best friends are American actress Jayne Brook, and American actor, screenwriter and producer Peter Berg.

He’s a philanthropist, and Héctor’s mostly into donating money to cancer research facilities.

Clint Eastwood’s one of his favorite actors, and some of his favorite movies include “American Sniper”, “Heartbreak Ridge” and “Million Dollar Baby”.

Héctor appeared in all 18 movies made by the late American director Garry Marshall.

Appearance and wealth

Héctor’s age is 86. He has blue eyes and is bald, is 5ft 10ins (1.77m) tall, and weighs about 170lbs (76kgs).

Héctor’s net worth has been estimated at over $5 million, as of July 2023.

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