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Lou Diamond Phillips
Born name: Lou Diamond Upchurch
Date of Birth: February 17, 1962
Place of Birth: U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines
Occupation: Actor, film director, television director, business investor with Tribeca Grill
Height: 1.8 m
Spouse: Yvonne Boismier Phillips (m. 2007), Kelly Phillips (m. 1994–2007), Julie Cypher (m. 1987–1990)
Children: Indigo Sanara Phillips, Grace Moorea Phillips, Isabella Patricia Phillips, Lili Jordan Phillips
Nationality: American, Philippine
Louis Diamond Phillips (born February 17, 1962) is a Filipino American actor and director. His breakthrough came when he starred as Ritchie Valens in the biographical drama film La Bamba (1987). For the Academy Award-nominated Stand and Deliver (1988), Phillips was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won an Independent Spirit Award. He made his Broadway debut with the 1996 revival of The King and I, earning a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam. Phillips' other notable films include Young Guns (1988), Young Guns II (1990), Courage Under Fire (1996), The Big Hit (1998), Brokedown Palace (1999), Che (2008), and The 33 (2015). In the television series Longmire, he played a main character named Henry Standing Bear.
Phillips was born at the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines, the son of Lucita Umayam Arañas and Gerald Amon Upchurch, a Marine KC-130 crew chief. His mother, a native of Candelaria, Zambales, is Filipina and his father was an American of Scots-Irish descent.
Phillips was named after the US Marine Leland "Lou" Diamond. After his father died, he took his stepfather's surname, Phillips, as his own.
Phillips was raised in Texas. He graduated from Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi in 1980 and from the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor of fine arts in drama.
The first low-budget film in which he starred was called Trespasses. Phillips' big break came with the starring role in La Bamba (1987) in which he played early rocker Ritchie Valens. Prior to his cinematic breakthrough, he starred in the Miami Vice episode "Red Tape" (March 13, 1987), portraying detective Bobby Diaz. He also played in a movie titled American Me.
In 1988, Phillips co-starred with Edward James Olmos in the inner-city high school drama Stand and Deliver, in a role for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. He plays Angel David Guzman, a cholo gangster who is inspired by his math teacher, Jaime Escalante, to excel at calculus. Working to master the subject, he develops a friendship with his teacher. Stand and Deliver was filmed before La Bamba, but it was released a year later.
In 1988 and 1990, respectively, Phillips co-starred with Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland in the Western films Young Guns and Young Guns II, in which he plays Jose Chavez y Chavez, a historical Old West outlaw. In 1998, he starred as Cisco, the counterpart of the main character Melvin Smiley (played by Mark Wahlberg) in the comedy-action movie The Big Hit.
In 2003, he starred in a cameo role with Harrison Ford in an action-comedy film Hollywood Homicide.
In February 2013, Phillips appeared as star of the comedy short film Lucy in the Sky with Diamond, playing a hyperbolized version of himself known as the elusive and mysterious LDP—a renegade, spirit guide, and life coach who attempts to help John (John Patrick Jordan) get over a particularly disconcerting ex-girlfriend. The award-winning short was written and directed by Joey Boukadakis.
In the mid-1990s, Phillips was a vocalist with the Los Angeles-based rock group The Pipefitters.
Phillips performing at an after-party for the film Filly Brown at the 2013 Miami International Film Festival
In December 2012, he was featured in Imagine Dragons' music video for "Radioactive", which went on to eclipse 1 billion views on YouTube.
In 1996, Phillips made his Broadway debut as the King in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I. Phillips won a Theatre World Award, and was nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance.
On September 11, 2007, Phillips joined the touring troupe for Lerner and Loewe's Camelot in the role of King Arthur.
In July 2014, he replaced the injured Jason Scott Lee in Opera Australia's Melbourne production of The King and I, reprising his role as the King of Siam, playing opposite Lisa McCune as Anna Leonowens.
He later featured a minor role in the TV sitcom George Lopez (2002–2004) as George Lopez's half-brother. He also played a role in the first season of the TV series 24 as secret government agent Mark DeSalvo, opposite former Young Guns star Kiefer Sutherland. Phillips played the recurring role of FBI agent Ian Edgerton in the television series Numb3rs. Edgerton is an FBI tracker and sniper who works as an instructor at Quantico FBI Academy when he is not working a case in the field. Phillips won the second season of the NBC reality series, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, over pro wrestler Torrie Wilson. Phillips currently hosts the weekly series An Officer and a Movie on The Military Channel. This series features various theatrical World War II dramas, with discussion breaks during the film in which Phillips interviews members of the US military and intelligence communities about details of the events that inspired each film.
Phillips had a recurring role as Colonel Telford in the Stargate Universe television series during its two-season run on the SyFy channel 2009-2011. He played the would-be commander of the Destiny expedition, who is left behind when an accident launches an unsuspecting crew into deep space. The commander works from Earth to bring the crew home, often coming into conflict with the shipborne command characters.
In January 2012, he was one of eight celebrities participating in the Food Network reality series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. On January 29, 2012, he was announced as the winner with a Zagat score of 28 out of 30, thereby winning $50,000 for his charity.
In June 2012, Philips began co-starring in the television series Longmire, about a modern-day sheriff played by Robert Taylor. Phillips played Henry Standing Bear, a Native American, who is Longmire's best friend, often helping him with cases and in dealing with the reservation police who do not respect or like outsiders, especially other law enforcement.
In 2014, he also guest-starred in The Wiggles Rock and Roll PreSchool DVD and made guest appearances on their TV program on ABC.
In 2016, Philips portrayed serial killer Richard Ramirez in The Night Stalker.
Phillips starred in four episodes of the radio series The Twilight Zone: Vol. 1, "A Kind of a Stopwatch"; Vol. 3, "The Parallel; Vol. 10, "Miniature"; and Vol. 12, "Long Live Walter Jameson".
Phillips has been a regular poker player since college. In May 2009, Phillips placed 31st of 403 entrants in the 2009 California State Poker Championship Limit Texas hold 'em. He won $10,000 during the July 2009 World Series of Poker World Championship No Limit main event. He was eliminated as the original field of 6,494 was trimmed from 407 to 185. He entered the day in 114th place among the 407 and was eliminated on the final hand of the day finishing in 186th place and earning $36,626.
Relationships and family
During the making of Trespasses, he met Julie Cypher, an assistant director. They married on September 17, 1987 and divorced on August 5, 1990. Cypher then announced she was a lesbian and started dating Melissa Etheridge.
On the set of the film Shadow of the Wolf (1992), he met Jennifer Tilly to whom he was briefly engaged, although the two never married. He later married Penthouse model and television extra, Kelly Phillips, with whom he has three daughters: Grace and Isabella (twins born in October 1997), and Lili born in September 1999. The couple separated in 2004, their divorce was finalized in July 2007, and the children reside with their mother.
He began dating makeup artist Yvonne Boismier in 2004. They married in August 2007 and their daughter, Indigo, was born in October 2007.
On August 11, 2006, Phillips was arrested for domestic violence at his Los Angeles home following a dispute with his live-in girlfriend and future wife, Yvonne Boismier. In December 2006, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of domestic battery and was sentenced to three years of probation. He also was ordered to undergo one year of domestic violence counseling and to serve 200 hours of community service.
On November 3, 2017, Phillips was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Portland, Texas, after stopping his vehicle to ask a police officer for directions. With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 g/100 mL, he was charged with driving while intoxicated. Phillips was released from jail after posting bail in the amount of $2,500. In April 2018, following a plea deal, Phillips was sentenced to two years of probation along with several requirements, including abstinence from alcohol.
Phillips speaking at the Filipino American Library Spirit Awards and Dinner Gala in Los Angeles in October 2006.
Phillips is very close to the Native American community. On September 1, 1991, he was adopted by an Oglala Lakota Sioux family in a traditional ceremony, although he has claimed to be part Cherokee. "Star Keeper" is his Sioux name. That year, he also organized a concert, The Winds of Life, to benefit Native American causes.
Phillips is also a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.
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