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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 26 June 1940Delano, California, USA
Birth NameLuis Miguel Valdez

Mini Bio (1)

Acknowledged as the founder of modern Chicano theatre and film, Luis Valdez was born to migrant farm workers Francisco and Armida Valdez and spent his early life traveling with the family, working in the fields himself. He eventually found himself at San Jose State College, where his play "The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa" was staged in 1964. He later joined the United Farm Workers and staged improvisational theatre with the help of union actors to further their causes. This work lead to the formation of his El Teatro Campesino, which produced most of Valdez' early plays in both the US and Europe. His account of racism in 1940s Los Angeles, Zoot Suit (1981), was released in 1982 to less than critical acclaim. Valdez continued to write and direct throughout the period; his film La Bamba (1987), the tragic story of Chicano singer Ritchie Valens, proved wildly successful and launched the screen careers of Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales. He continues to travel extensively while remaining true to his Chicano theatrical roots.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Adam <anthony-adam@tamu.edu>

Spouse (1)

Lupe Trujillo-Valdez (23 August 1969 - present) (3 children)

Trivia (5)

Worked on adapting Carlos Fuentes' Old Gringo (1989) at the behest of Jane Fonda, but dropped the project due to creative differences with her.
Brother of actor/producer Daniel Valdez
HE was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
Founding director/professor of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology (TAT) at California State University of Monterey Bay, created in 1995. The major interlinks theater, video, film, radio and new media as different forms of theatrical expression.

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