Wave Wire Services
HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring Emmy-winning actor Jimmy Smits was unveiled June 2 in a virtual ceremony, two days before the premiere of his latest film, “In The Heights.”
“This is pretty mind-blowing stuff because it carries a permanence that is humbling,” Smits said. “In an industry where even mere employment can be so fleeting this kind of feels like forever.”
Because of the coronavius pandemic, there was no public ceremony. The star is located at 6100 Hollywood Blvd., near Gower Street, near the star of Gregory Peck, who he co-starred with in the 1989 romantic adventure film, “The Old Gringo.”
“Besides being in awe of him on so many levels Gregory imparted wisdom about life as an artist and the responsibility that comes with that,” Smits said. “He validated for me what I had been feeling and what it meant to be an artist and how to use the platform to set me on the right path.
“He treated me as an equal and that is why today’s tribute is more significant because I have been granted a spot in close proximity to Gregory Peck’s star. I honestly cannot imagine a bigger honor.”
Preceding Smits in speaking were Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Farrell, who speaks at many Walk of Fame ceremonies, Lin-Manuel Miranda, a producer of “In The Heights,” which is based on the Broadway musical he co-wrote, and Paris Barclay, who directed episodes of the groundbreaking ABC police drama “NYPD Blue” in which Smits starred, including his final one.
Born July 9, 1955, in Brooklyn, Smits received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College in 1980 and a master’s degree from Cornell University in 1982.
Smits made his television debut in a 1983 episode of the ABC daytime drama “Ryan’s Hope” and his prime-time debut in the pilot of “Miami Vice,” portraying the partner of Detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) who was killed by a car bomb in the episode’s first five minutes.
Smits’ first series role was as attorney Victor Sifuentes in the NBC legal drama “L.A. Law,” which brought him supporting actor in a drama series Emmy nominations in each of his six seasons on the series and his only win, which came in 1990.
After leaving “L.A. Law” in 1992, Smits joined the cast of “NYPD Blue” in 1994, receiving lead actor in a drama series Emmy nominations all five seasons he was on the series.
Smits was also a cast member of “The West Wing” for its final two seasons as Rep. Matt Santos. His other television credits include “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Dexter,” which brought him his most recent Emmy nomination, for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in 2009.
On the big screen, Smits’ credits include three “Star Wars” films — “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith” and “Rouge One” — “Switch;” “My Family/Mi Familia;” “The Jane Austen Book Club” and “Mother and Child.”
Smits portrays taxi company owner Kevin Rosario in “In The Heights,” which premieres June 4 at the TCL Chinese Theatre as part of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and opens in theaters and begins streaming on HBO Max June 11.