Lou Diamond Phillips: Half-Filipino

*Best known for playing Ritchie Valens in the 1987 movie La Bamba

Birthday:February 17, 1962
Birth name: Lou Diamond Upchurch

Acclaimed Hollywood actor Lou Diamond Phillips is of dual heritage -- his late father was an American sailor and his mother Lucita is Filipina. He was born Lou Upchurch at a U.S. navy hospital in the Philippines in 1962. His step-father, from whom he acquired the surname he is currently using, was also a navy sailor.

EDUCATION:

Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Texas
Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts (BFA) in Drama from the University of Texas at Arlington


OTHER ACTING ROLES:

Jose Chavez y Chavez in Young Guns

Roy Knox in Brokedown Palace

Ray Forgy in Disorganized Crime

Cisco in The Big Hit

Sgt. Monfriez in Courage Under Fire

Russell Logan in The First Power

Lou Diamond Phillips sings as the king in the 1996 Broadway Revival of The King and I

TRIVIA: While testifying on behalf of Filipino WWII veterans before Congress, he revealed that five uncles on the Filipino side of his family had served in the U.S. Navy!

RECENT NEWS:  In June 2009, Lou Diamond Phillips won the second season of the NBC reality series I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here! over pro-wrestler Torrie Wilson.