Edit
Lou Diamond Phillips Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (28) | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 February 1962Subic Bay Naval Base, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines
Birth NameLou Diamond Upchurch
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lou Diamond Phillips was born on February 17, 1962 in Subic Bay Naval Base, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines as Lou Diamond Upchurch. He is an actor, known for La Bamba (1987), Courage Under Fire (1996) and Longmire (2012). He has been married to Yvonne Boismier Phillips since August 16, 2007. They have one child. He was previously married to Kelly Phillips and Julie Cypher.

Spouse (3)

Yvonne Boismier Phillips (16 August 2007 - present) (1 child)
Kelly Phillips (24 April 1994 - 30 July 2007) (divorced) (3 children)
Julie Cypher (27 June 1987 - 1990) (divorced)

Trivia (28)

The name Phillips is from his step-father.
He plays with the group, "The Pipefitters with Lou Diamond Phillips".
Named by his father for highly decorated Gunnery Sergeant Leland "Lou" Diamond, USMC, who enlisted in the Marines at age 27 in 1917, and saw action in both world wars. To this day "Lou" Diamond is considered one of the finest Marines of all time, and is known as "Mr. Leatherneck".
Is 1/8 Cherokee.
Was seriously considered for the role of Agent John Dogget on The X-Files (1993).
First wife, Julie Cypher, partnered with Melissa Etheridge.
Lou's father, Gerald Amon Upchurch, was an American, from Georgia, and had English and Scots-Irish ancestry. Lou's mother, Lucita Umayam Araña, was Filipino, from Candelaria.
Graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with a BFA in Drama
Graduated from Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Has 3 daughters with second wife Kelly Phillips: twins Grace and Isabella (born 5 October 1997) and Lili Jordan (born 26 September 1999).
Was nominated for Broadway's 1996 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for playing one of the title roles, the King, in a revival of "The King and I."
Grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas
Worked at Whataburger as a teen, becoming a shift leader during his term of employment.
Enjoys doing theater.
Good friends with Kiefer Sutherland.
He started acting in theater at the Stage West in Fort Worth, Texas.
He was once engaged to Jennifer Tilly.
Loves playing poker and has held games at his Los Angeles home for nearly two decades for his friends and others.
Turned down his role in Supernova (2000) a few times before eventually accepting it.
Was very good friends with the late Brandon Lee.
Contributed Native American vocals on the Jon Bon Jovi solo album Young Guns II (1990) soundtrack.
Lou and his wife, Yvonne, became the parents of a girl, Indigo Sanara, on October 9, 2007.
Met wife, Yvonne, while shooting a Radio Shack commercial in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Went to the same college as Ray Corasani, Jonny Cruz, and Kim Matula.
In May 2011 Phillips accepted the GI Spirit Award from Brandon Millet and Laura Law-Millet, who are founders of the the GI Film Festival. The award is presented to actors embodying "the spirit of an American GI in their creative and philanthropic work." Prior recipients of the award include Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, Karri Turner and Rich Schroder.
(June 1996 - ?) Stars as the King on the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I
Starring as King Arthur in the national tour of Camelot. [November 2007]
Dubbed an "Honorary Latino" by Remezcla, a website targeting Latino Millennials.

Personal Quotes (14)

The only power an actor has is the ability to say, "No".
[on getting his part in 24 (2001)] That was a funny situation, because Kiefer [Kiefer Sutherland] and I are still very tight. We've done something like five projects together over the years, and we see each other socially every so often since Young Guns (1988). We got the call from the people at "24", saying, "Listen, we don't have a script yet, but the episodes are going to revolve around Kiefer, Dennis Hopper and a role that we'd like you to do". That's really all I needed to hear. So I made one phone call -- to Kiefer's cell phone on the set -- and said, "Listen, man, they want me to come on the show. Is that cool with you?" And he said, "Yeah, c'mon, let's go!"
[on working with Harrison Ford] I've got to say, Harrison is probably the most relaxed actor I've worked with in my life. He's truly amazing. They say "Action!"--boom! There's Harrison Ford. I was doing a scene, I'm sitting across a table from him, and between takes I kind of looked over, and I had one of those moments where the hair stood up on the back of my neck and I went, "Oh my God, that's Harrison Ford!" When you're working, you don't really think about those things, but I just had one of those starstruck moments where it's just like, "Look where I'm at".
[on his success] I felt I was the luckiest guy in the world when I landed La Bamba (1987), and I still feel the same way. I feel fortunate to be employed in the film business, and still be standing. There's a lot of guys that were around when I made "La Bamba" who aren't as fortunate - and it's not a matter of talent or hard work, it's just the breaks sometimes, you know? I've been fortunate that the right film has come along for me every couple of years. I've been lucky, I think.
[on selecting roles] There's very few things that I'll turn my nose up at, because some of my biggest successes have been ones totally out of left field. Stand and Deliver (1988) was a tiny little film made for less than $1 million. If I can find something in the script or the character, or even in the cast, that I go, "All right, this is worth doing", then I'll do it. Unfortunately, there was a time in my career when I felt responsible for how a film came out, and I'm just now starting to grasp the concept that there's only so much you can do. You can only show up and do the best work that you can do, be responsible for your character, and be as giving and supportive of the cast and the crew as you can. But when all is said and done, did they have enough money to make the movie? Did the director have a clear vision of it? And even if it turned out to be not a bad film, is it going to be seen, or is it going to fall between the cracks? There's some little films of mine that didn't see the light of day, and yet I still think they were good movies. I think there's this philosophy in Hollywood that if it doesn't make $100 million, it's not a success. And unfortunately, there's quite a few $100-million films that just aren't that good.
[on being a working actor] I play poker with some guys, like [Charles Durning], and they say, "Are ya working?" They ask that - and they don't care what it is - you're just fortunate to be a working actor in Hollywood. With every new job I get, I feel the same way. I have that same excitement. I have that same gratitude for being asked to the dance.
[on filming The Triangle (2005) in South Africa] I filmed Red Water (2003) in Cape Town, South Africa, so I had a number of local haunts that I'd been to before, and I really, really just love that city and the people are so polite and so wonderful. Not only that, it was a real treat for me, because since I was there for such a long period of time, my three daughters were able to come down and spend 10 days there. So my time off was very welcome because it was like a paid vacation for me. I was able to take the girls on safari, shark cage diving and to the top of Table Mountain. It was an amazing tourist trip while on the clock.
The Gypsy in me still loves going on location; loves meeting new people; loves the three month, "I'm in summer camp" kind of thing.
Just before Courage Under Fire I made a decision to start going after quote unquote bigger roles. I think Hollywood got to a place where they thought they knew what to expect from me. I thought that maybe a few things would come to me. Well, they didn't. I said "fine" from now on I'm going to identify what's out there; I don't care if it's written for a blonde haired blue eyed guy. If they'll let me in the door, I'm going to take a shot at it and show people what I can do. I'd never done comedy. I'd rarely done romance. Courage Under Fire, The King And I and The Big Hit, all of this was an effort on my part to expand the perception of my range. The range has always been there.
(2012, on filming Che) I'd love to say that it was a magical experience being in Madrid, but it wasn't. I only got a couple of hours sleep every night, because I was up drilling, drilling, drilling. And I have to say that the vocal coach was just an angel, because he'd sit there with me, and we go over and over it. Same thing with being on set. So it was a constant chore for me, but ultimately I'm just really, really proud to have been a part of that, and in my opinion-because it was such a long film and because it was in a foreign language-I think it was a bit overlooked. I really feel Benicio (Del Toro) deserved an Oscar nomination, at least. He won Best Actor in Cannes, but I think the film was under-seen here.
(2012, on Aquaman) I can't even speak to that very much, because I've never seen it. Everything pointed to the fact that that project should've been a slam-dunk. It was from the creators of Smallville. The CW was going to rebrand and launch their new network, and it just seemed to be such a great calling card to have a big, slick project like that. So to me, it was a no-brainer. We had filmed the pilot in Miami, and it went beautifully. And I'm literally waiting for a call to go to the upfronts, and not until the day before do we get the call saying, "Well, we're not going to pick it up." And it was devastating to me. I had real high hopes for the project. And when something like that happens, I don't even bother to watch it, because it's just too painful. It's like, "My God, what could've been..." And it ended up being literally the number-one download for two weeks once it became available on iTunes, so I was like, "Do you see? It would've had an audience. It would've been a hit." But they blinked and were afraid to pull the trigger. So it's just one of those things that I chalk up to... it's one of the reasons why I'll never understand the industry.
(2012) Cisco in The Big Hit is one of my favorite characters of my entire career. I absolutely love that character. It's so over the top, and Kirk Wong, the director, gave me ridiculous license with that role. He would let me adlib, and he would let me just do crazy things, and he would come running out from behind the monitor going, "Too much, too much! Come back!"... How I got that part was, I was on Broadway doing The King And I, and Kirk Wong and Terence Chang, a producer who's John Woo's partner, came to see me in that. And then we took a meeting, and I read and auditioned for that, because it was a comedy, and it seems like anytime a comedy comes up, people just assume that I'm not funny. But since he was the bad guy, they told me later that nobody made him funny. Everybody was playing him so straight that he wasn't funny. And they were looking for broad. They were looking for big. And after seeing me onstage in The King And I, they knew I could go big.
(2012, on Disorganized Crime) That was a lot of fun. I actually got the offer when we were doing Young Guns, and it was the beginning of the time in my career when I suddenly didn't have to audition for things. They were just kind of coming my way. My agent got the call from Disney giving me the offer, and somehow we knew that Emilio (Estevez) had just passed on the project. Emilio was a new friend at the time, and I remember being very aware of not wanting to step on any toes, so before I said "yes" to that, I read the script, liked it, and then I went to Emilio and said, "You just passed on this. Is it cool if I take it?" And he was like, "Yeah, absolutely. I passed because I didn't want to do it." He'd had a relationship with Disney prior to that because of the Stakeout films, so he had the offer first. I don't know, they might've just been going down the Young Guns cast list... We had these five little cabins right on this trout farm in Montana, in the Bitterroot Valley in Hamilton, and there were only four restaurants in town. So we formed something called the Hamilton Dining Club. It was William Russ, Rubén Blades, Fred Gwynne, and myself. We'd dine together practically every evening and just rotate the restaurants. Unfortunately, two of them weren't so good. So we worked our way down the menu on a couple of them. What was sad was that Corbin Bernsen, because his character was separated from us and we were trying to find him for the entire movie, we never got to work together. Whenever we were off, Corbin had to go to work, and vice versa. So I didn't get to spend much time with him at all. And ditto with Ed O'Neil and Daniel Roebuck. But I absolutely loved that entire ensemble, and a lot of us have stayed close over the years.
[2015] I've been incredibly proud to represent numerous Latino communities throughout my career. Now Chilean, but certainly Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, even Bolivian. And it's kind of in the same boat as me representing Native American communities, and as a result I've been adopted into the Cheyenne Nation because of my work as Henry Standing Bear on Longmire. The Lakota Nation adopted me in the early nineties after Young Guns. And I look at it the same way every single time. I try to be specific to the community that I'm representing. I don't just go in and paint it all with the same brush, and I also try to do it with respect and with dignity, because I'm representing a culture to the world. And I feel incredibly fortunate that my ambiguous ethnicity allows me to do that, and to morph into whatever character that I'm representing.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page