Edward James Olmos

An actor, producer, director and social activist, Edward James Olmos has taken a leading role in encouraging young Hispanics to improve their lot in life through education.  As a young child he wanted to become a professional baseball player and in his teenage years dreamed of being a rock star, but instead it was acting – and his roles in the movie “Blade Runner” and the TV series “ Miami Vice” – that proved to be his ticket to stardom. Now approaching the age of 60, Olmos – a onetime UNICEF ambassador and co-founder of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival – prefers to be known as someone dedicated to ensuring everyone has the same opportunities in life: “If I can do it, anybody can” has been his message to disadvantaged youth.

Q. What are you reading at the moment?
A. “Three Day Road,” an incredible book by Canadian Joseph Boyden about World War I.
Q. Which book has had the biggest impact on you in your lifetime?
A. “Cien años de soledad .” It’s an absolutely first-rate book.  
Q. Who is your favorite author?
A. There are so many. Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa for everything they’ve written.  
Q. How would you encourage people to read?
A. Like every year I’m co-producer of The (Latino) Book & Family Festival, which is held each October in Pomona (California). So the public has the chance to meet the writers and then be able to better understand their work.