Héctor Elizondo (born December 22, 1936) is an American actor. Elizondo's first major role was that of God in the 1970 Off-Broadway play Steambath, 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 and his most recent main role on the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing.
He played Jon Flint in Beverly Hills Cop III. It is unknown if he will reprise the role in the future.
Life and CareerEdit
Elizondo was born in New York City, the son of Carmen Medina Reyes and Martín Echevarría Elizondo, a notary public and accountant. His father was of Basque ancestry and his mother was Puerto Rican; his parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York City, 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 1950, he enrolled in the High School of the Performing Arts. He also attended another public high school where he excelled in basketball and baseball. His baseball skills were good enough for him to be scouted by both the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 1954, Elizondo enrolled in City College of New York, intending to become a history teacher. However, during his freshman year he became a father and dropped out of college, going to work full-time in order to support his family. Later, he divorced and gained full custody of his son, Rodd.
From 1962 to 1963, Elizondo studied dance at the Ballet Arts Company at Carnegie Hall. In 1965 he landed a part in the Off-Broadway show Kill the One-Eyed Man; in 1968, he got a part in 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. He was a member of the cast of the 1985-1986 CBS situation comedy Foley Square.
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. In 1999, he co-starred in Runaway Bride as Fisher, the husband of the male protagonist's ex. Elizondo has participated in over 80 movies and 17 of them have been Marshall's. In fact, Elizondo has appeared in every movie that Marshall has directed. Elizondo also had a brief appearance as a fisherman in the movie Overboard which starred Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.
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 would be cast on Monk as Dr. Neven Bell, Adrian Monk's new psychiatrist. Elizondo was brought in to fill the void left by the sudden death of Stanley Kamel, who played Monk's previous psychiatrist Dr. Charles Kroger, on April 8, 2008 of a heart attack.
In 2011, Elizondo became a main cast member on the new ABC comedy Last Man Standing, which stars Tim Allen.
Elizondo has been married three times. He has a son from his first marriage. Since 1969 he has been married to Carolee Campbell, an Emmy Award winning actress, photographer and publisher. They live in Sherman Oaks, California.
In April 2013, Elizondo participated in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, held at the University of Southern California, promoting children's reading.
Elizondo is proud of his Latino heritage and refuses to accept roles that are stereotypical and/or demeaning in any way.