Hector Elizondo

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Hector Elizondo talks about his early years as a child singer and making his first television appearance on the children's series The Adventures of Oky Doky. He describes his first feature film, "The Fat Black Pussycat," as well as his first adult television role on The Jackie Gleason Show. He recounts his guest-starring role on the memorable All in the Family episode, "The Elevator Story," as well as roles on Kojak, Columbo and The Rockford Files. He recalls working for Norman Lear, co-starring on A.k.a. Pablo, and working for Diane English on Foley Square. He discusses at length his role as "Dr. Phillip Watters" on the David E. Kelley drama Chicago Hope. Elizondo talks of the show's rivalry with ER, the fame that resulted from the show, and his eventually winning an Emmy for the episode "Bridge Over Troubled Watters." He speaks of co-starring (along with executive producer Jimmy Smits) in Cane, a Latino drama that was cut short due to the Writers Strike of 2007. He concludes by detailing his long association with Garry Marshall, including his roles in "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries," and sums up with advice to aspiring actors. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on April 17, 2015 in Burbank, California.

"I love it when it's right and you hit the ball in the sweet spot. It's transformative. Especially when you're telling a story and you're feeling the audience. The collective aspect of it, the audience aspect of it. The immediacy."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Hector Elizondo on co-starring on the series Cane as "Pancho Duque"
Hector Elizondo on his Chicago Hope  character "Dr. Phillip Watters"
Hector Elizondo on appearing on All in the Family
Hector Elizondo on co-starring in Garry Marshall's feature film "Pretty Woman"
Hector Elizondo on his proudest career achievement - unintentionally being an inspiration for fellow Latinos
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on listening to the radio as a child; on the first time he saw television and early shows he watched
On his television debut as a child on The Adventures of Oky Doky; on attending The High School of Music and Art and his path to becoming an actor through the theater; on his first feature film "The Fat Black Pussycat"
On appearing on The Jackie Gleason Show; on appearing on All in the Family; on appearing on Kojak
On appearing on Columbo; on appearing on The Rockford Files; on starring in the series Popi
On co-starring on A.k.a Pablo; on co-starring on Foley Square  created by Diane English; on avoiding being typecast 

Chapter 2

On singing as a young boy; on directing A.k.a. Pablo; on partaking in Norman Corwin's 50th Anniversary of "War of the Worlds"; on being nominated for an Emmy for the American Playhouse  production of "Mrs. Cage" in which his co-star was Anne Bancroft
On playing "Dr. Phillip Watters" on Chicago Hope; on doing medical research for his role on Chicago Hope; on working with David E. Kelley on Chicago Hope
On his Chicago Hope  character "Dr. Phillip Watters"; on Chicago Hope competing with ER  and the popularity of the show; on James Garner guest-starring on Chicago Hope
On the fame that resulted from his co-starring on Chicago Hope; on the cast changes of Chicago Hope and the show going up against Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?; on the end and legacy of Chicago Hope
On guest-starring on Grey's Anatomy; on guest-starring on Monk; on co-starring on the series Cane as "Pancho Duque"
On co-starring on Last Man Standing; on his voiceover work

Chapter 3

On appearing the feature film "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"; on his long association with Garry Marshall; on appearing in "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries"
On appearing in the feature film "Tortilla Soup"; on his proudest career achievement; on how the industry has changed since he started
On advice to an aspiring actor; on career regrets; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

A.k.a. Pablo

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring on A.k.a Pablo
Hector Elizondo on directing A.k.a. Pablo

All in the Family

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on All in the Family

American Playhouse

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Hector Elizondo on being nominated for an Emmy for the American Playhouse production of "Mrs. Cage" in which his co-star was Anne Bancroft

Cane

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring as "Pancho Duque" on the series Cane (starring and executive produced by Jimmy Smits)
Hector Elizondo on working with Rita Moreno on > Cane
Hector Elizondo on > Cane  representing a Latino family>

Chicago Hope

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring as "Dr. Phillip Watters" on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on doing medical research for his role on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on working with David E. Kelley on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on his Chicago Hope character "Dr. Phillip Watters"
Hector Elizondo on working with writer/producer John Tinker on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on Chicago Hope competing with ER and the popularity of the show
Hector Elizondo on James Garner guest-starring on Chicago Hope and working through pain on The Rockford Files
Hector Elizondo on the fame that resulted from his co-starring on Chicago Hope 
Hector Elizondo on the cast changes of Chicago Hope and the show going up against Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Hector Elizondo on the Chicago Hope episode "Bridge Over Troubled Watters" for which he won an Emmy
Hector Elizondo on the end and legacy of Chicago Hope

Columbo

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on Columbo

ER

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Hector Elizondo on Chicago Hope competing with ER and the popularity of the show

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Hector Elizondo on the Chicago Hope  episode "Bridge Over Troubled Watters" for which he won an Emmy

Foley Square

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring on Foley Square created by Diane English

Grey's Anatomy

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Hector Elizondo on guest-starring on Grey's Anatomy

Jackie Gleason Show, The

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Jackie Gleason Show

Kojak

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on Kojak

Rockford Files, The

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Rockford Files starring James Garner 
Hector Elizondo on James Garner guest-starring on Chicago Hope and working through pain on The Rockford Files

Who Wants to be A Millionaire

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Hector Elizondo on the cast changes of Chicago Hope and the show going up against Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Topics

Advice

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Hector Elizondo on advice to an aspiring actor

Characters & Catchphrases

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Hector Elizondo on his Chicago Hope  character "Dr. Phillip Watters"

Diversity in Television

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Hector Elizondo on Cane  representing a Latino family

Emmy Awards

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Hector Elizondo on the Chicago Hope  episode "Bridge Over Troubled Watters" for which he won an Emmy

Fame & Celebrity

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Hector Elizondo on the fame that resulted from his co-starring on Chicago Hope

Historic Events and Social Change

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Hector Elizondo on Cane  representing a Latino family

Minorities

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Hector Elizondo on Cane  representing a Latino family

Pop Culture

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Hector Elizondo on his Chicago Hope  character "Dr. Phillip Watters"

Television Industry

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Hector Elizondo on the fame that resulted from his co-starring on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on how the industry has changed since he started
Hector Elizondo on advice to an aspiring actor
Professions

Actor

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Hector Elizondo on avoiding being typecast 
Hector Elizondo on what he likes about acting
Hector Elizondo on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Hector Elizondo on avoiding being typecast 
Hector Elizondo on what he likes about acting
Hector Elizondo on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Hector Elizondo on being nominated for an Emmy for the American Playhouse  production of "Mrs. Cage" in which his co-star was Anne Bancroft

Comedy Series

View Genre
Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Jackie Gleason Show
Hector Elizondo on appearing on All in the Family
Hector Elizondo on starring in the series Popi
Hector Elizondo on co-starring on A.k.a Pablo
Hector Elizondo on directing A.k.a. Pablo
Hector Elizondo on co-starring with Tim Allen on Last Man Standing

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Hector Elizondo on appearing on Kojak
Hector Elizondo on appearing on Columbo
Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Rockford Files with James Garner
Hector Elizondo on guest-starring on Monk

Drama Series

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring on the series Cane as "Pancho Duque"

Medical Dramas

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring as "Dr. Phillip Watters" on Chicago Hope
Hector Elizondo on guest-starring on Grey's Anatomy

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Hector Elizondo on starring in the 1992 made-for-television movie Burden of Proof
People

Tim Allen

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring with Tim Allen on Last Man Standing

Julie Andrews

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Hector Elizondo on working with Julie Andrews on the feature film "The Princess Diaries"

Anne Bancroft

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Hector Elizondo on being nominated for an Emmy for the American Playhouse  production of "Mrs. Cage" in which his co-star was Anne Bancroft

Norman Corwin

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Hector Elizondo on partaking in Norman Corwin's 50th Anniversary of "War of the Worlds"

Diane English

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring on Foley Square  created by Diane English

Peter Falk

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on Columbo  starring Peter Falk

James Garner

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Rockford Files  starring James Garner
Hector Elizondo on James Garner guest-starring on Chicago Hope  and working through pain on The Rockford Files

Jackie Gleason

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on The Jackie Gleason Show

David E. Kelley

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Hector Elizondo on working with David E. Kelley on Chicago Hope

Norman Lear

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on All in the Family created by Norman Lear

Garry Marshall

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Hector Elizondo on his long association with Garry Marshall
Hector Elizondo on co-starring in Garry Marshall's feature film "Pretty Woman"

Rita Moreno

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Hector Elizondo on working with Rita Moreno on Cane

Carroll O'Connor

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on All in the Family  starring Carroll O'Connor

Telly Savalas

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Hector Elizondo on appearing on Kojak  starring Telly Savalas

Jimmy Smits

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Hector Elizondo on co-starring as "Pancho Duque" on the series Cane (starring and executive produced by Jimmy Smits) 

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